Let’s Talk: Brie Larson’s Unicorn Store and the Journey of Honoring our Dreams (+ Photo Series)

Unicorn Store (out now on Netflix!) is a movie about seeking, honoring, and treasuring our gifts and dreams. 

I began watching Unicorn Store with nothing but wonder and love for Brie Larson, actress, and director of the film. I also began watching with a smidge of skepticism, if I’m being honest, because most of the reviews for the movie weren’t great. However, a few of them had caught my eye and touched my sensitive soul. I’m so glad those reviews did because by the time ending credits rolled, I was deep into jotting down notes as quickly as I could. Moments later, I ran into my room to cry (so that my husband wouldn’t see me, though he would have been supportive of my tears!). Bellyflopped onto the bed, a few deep cries into my comforter followed before I wiped my tears away and walked back into the living room. Although I am highly sensitive by nature, a movie hadn’t made me cry or feel so deeply understood in a long time. My own reaction took me by surprise!

The gist of the movie’s story told through Kit’s perspective (Larson’s character) hit me hard on a deeply personal level. It was a message I needed to receive, as if Cupid sent a bow of love right to my heart, opening it and exposing my pains and insecurities all simultaneously. My heart swelled as I ran to my room with both embarrassment and a desire to keep my deeply personal reaction…well, personal. I didn’t want anyone else to try to understand or comfort me. I wanted to savor and sit with the raw and rare emotion of feeling deeply united and understood. So, what is Unicorn Store actually about? What is the gist of the movie?

I’ll try not to spoil the movie for you, but generally speaking, Unicorn Store is about seeking, honoring, and treasuring our gifts and dreams — cleverly using a unicorn as a metaphor for dreams. To claim to have a unicorn seems crazy, right? No one believes you when you say you’ve got one! That’s because no one can see your unicorn (or dream), but you. That’s just the way it is, and yet, we spend so much of our adult lives trying to have others understand and validate them. The unicorns we have are our personal and individual gifts, not for anyone else to understand. The sooner we understand this, the sooner we’ll be able to have, hold and fully honor our unicorns (or dreams).

In sharing this main message, the movie additionally and brilliantly touches on how:
  • Much of our modern, adult society pressures us to conform into little boxes. We often give away our unicorns because we end up thinking they’re weird or useless — but what is a colorless world, in which we expect everyone to be the same? THAT is weird! (The movie cleverly and refreshingly depicts just how weird our monotone societies often are.)
  • Our unicorns are here for us to have, but we need to seek them out, be curious, and be brave enough to say, “Yes, I have a unicorn and I’m going to nurture, care for it and own it!” (In the end, everyone truly desires to seek out their unicorns. However, fear often holds us back and we tend to resort to conforming or living a life of normalcy because it feels scarier to face our fears and risk feeling misunderstood than live another life, one that at least everyone can understand.)
  • Our gifts and dreams need a loving, safe environment to exist and thrive, from within. That is why cultivating self-love and mental clarity is so important. 
  • Sometimes we are so stuck focusing on our shortcomings, faults, and aloneness, we fail to see all of our glory, magic, gifts and the people that are there and have always been there, cheering us on (regardless of if they understand our unicorns or not).
  • Our unicorns and dreams can serve as a guiding light and bridge of hope and strength to get us to where we need to be. Perhaps these dreams can have this sole purpose — of carrying us through life’s turbulence with a softness only dreams and hopes can bring.

 As an artist and creative, I resonate deeply with these messages. I often feel alone or misunderstood in my life experiences, because I’ve chosen to live life on the off-beaten path, and because I have wild, multicolored unicorns that I tend to, that no one can see! (I realize I am lucky and privileged to be able to choose the course of my life and tend to these unicorns.) However, despite often feeling alone, following my heart and dreams has never been something I’ve regretted or thought twice about (okay, I’ve certainly had periods of tiredness and confusion, but never enough to seriously consider giving away the unicorns I’ve worked so hard to care for and keep).

Speaking of unicorns and dreams, I also realize I have been lucky to see my unicorns with clarity, for as long as I can remember. Maybe unicorns come to us when we need them, or when the timing is right. I’m not sure what makes a unicorn show, or why they show at all. All I know, though, is that if you’ve got one — keep it safe. Honor it, treasure it, hold it close and let it carry you. And maybe, go ahead and watch this movie! Perhaps you’ll find other meaningful, personal messages as you watch the film!

 Shout out to Brie Larson for making Unicorn Store, her directorial debut, which was, I’m sure, her seeking out her own unicorn (does that count as meta?). Her movie healed me in ways I didn’t know I needed. To all dreamers, watch if you can. And go get your unicorn!🦄

below is a self-portrait series, inspired by the movie (yes, I loved the movie that much!)