After winning a Golden Globe for her role in 2016’s Room and starring in Marvel’s first female-led superhero movie Captain Marvel, Brie Larson is trying out yet another genre with Netflix’s Unicorn Store. The movie follows Kit, a failed artist who moves home to take an office temp job. But when she gets a mysterious invitation to visit a store that will sell her a unicorn, her childhood dream, things get less real. So is Unicorn Store based on a true story? Since the movie made its debut at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, some viewers might think the story behind the film is based on someone’s dream or a metaphor for something else, but it doesn't look like Unicorn Store is based on anything other than imagination.
Unicorn Store writer Samantha McIntyre has written for TV shows like Bored To Death, People of Earth, and Married, but Unicorn Store is the baby she had been working on for years before her dreams in making the film finally became a reality. She told Bust in an interview that she started the script in 2009 but in the years that followed, some parts changed or shifted while the overall story has remained the same.
"In the original draft of Unicorn Store, Kit has this long monologue to these Care Bears. That was the first thing I wrote. That was my first idea for the whole thing," she said. "Before I even knew how the movie ended, I knew I wanted this person who had moved back home to be pouring her heart out to some Care Bears."
Unicorn Store has been seven years in the making and it was almost filmed in 2012 with Rebel Wilson playing the lead as Kit. The timing wasn't quite right at the time, however and the process continued. I love Larson as much as the next Marvel fan, but to be honest, I feel like Wilson would have totally killed it too.
McIntyre told Bust in the same interview that her inspiration for Unicorn Store didn't actually come from an obsession for the mythical creature even though that’s the natural instinct most people have when they ask her.
"Everyone always asks if I was obsessed with unicorns and I actually wasn’t," she said. "My deepest, strongest wish as a child, was that Hello Kitty would come to life. It was always this very bittersweet wish… I just like that idea. Like the deepest dream you had as a child, if you still are clinging to that as a grown-up. And if someone came to you and said, 'Actually, I could make that come true,' what would you think? So the dream became unicorn. It’s symbolic of that magical dream we all have."
In the trailer for Unicorn Store, Kit is lost after realizing that her dream of becoming an artist might not be a reality for her. Naturally, curiosity gets the best of her when she gets the invitation to go to a magical store that might be able to sell her at least one dream she has always had — a unicorn. Since she’s working as a temp in a seriously drab office, she has literally nothing else to lose.
So Kit proceeds to build a unicorn house to prove that she’s worthy of owning such a creature. It's unclear how much of the movie takes place in reality or if some of it is from a dream or Kit’s imagination, but I’m definitely along for the ride. Unicorn Store might not be based on a true story, but it is based on one writer’s imagination and the dream of getting what you want if you try hard enough.