Samuel Goldwyn Company, The | Release Date: October 14, 1988
8.6
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Universal acclaim based on 23 Ratings
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8
MarcDoyleAug 13, 2010
Took one of my first "real" dates to this movie. (Took all my "fake" dates to horror flicks.) But seriously, this was a very good movie for its time. Julia Roberts was far from the best actor in this film. Lilly Taylor and Anabeth Gish areTook one of my first "real" dates to this movie. (Took all my "fake" dates to horror flicks.) But seriously, this was a very good movie for its time. Julia Roberts was far from the best actor in this film. Lilly Taylor and Anabeth Gish are terrific, and Vincent D'Nofrio is solid. Expand
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7
SpangleNov 1, 2016
At this point, I am convinced that I will enjoy any schlock labelled as a coming of age comedy-drama. Mystic Pizza is no exception. Though hardly groundbreaking, Mystic Pizza is a Portuguese-infused film that may have landed better because,At this point, I am convinced that I will enjoy any schlock labelled as a coming of age comedy-drama. Mystic Pizza is no exception. Though hardly groundbreaking, Mystic Pizza is a Portuguese-infused film that may have landed better because, having been to Mystic and driving around this area, it felt so near. In addition, though there are incredible faults in the script, the elements it does well certainly outshine the negatives. The end result being a sweet and charming coming of age film that made me want pizza.

Telling the story of Kat (Annabeth Gish), Daisy (Julia Roberts), and JoJo (Lili Taylor), three girls working for Mystic Pizza, the film showcases their life exploits and their romantic dealings, all with varying success. Kat, the brains of the group and headed for Yale with astronomy, certainly missteps the most in love with Tim Travers (William R. Moses). Daisy, meanwhile, is the wild, crazy, directionless one of the group that, as the film reveals may be lost, but is no far off than Kat or anyone else. In her dealings with Charlie (Adam Storke), certainly shows her flair for the dramatic and rash impulses, but certainly learns from her experiences. Jojo, in her relationship with Bill (Vincent D'Onofrio), also demonstrates significant growth from a girl afraid to grow up to a full-grown woman ready for the future. As a whole, the women in this film are all incredibly written and, while they can be a bit stereotypical at times, the film never looks down upon them. Their actions are clear and explained. At the end of the day, they act entirely like real people with real problems. Rather than typecasting any of them, the film shows us why they take the actions that they do.

Additionally, the film really does a great job eliciting laughs. Though the drama is well-constructed and believable, Mystic Pizza is a feel good movie above all else. And, in that department, this 1980s charmer certainly delivers. With enjoyable characters, the film is simply a true joy to watch. Even if it was not, seeing 1988 Matt Damon ask his mom what the green stuff in his food is, will always be worth it, regardless of in what film it occurs.

The acting is stellar. Led by Gish, the strong cast all deliver stellar performances with Gish being the clear standout amongst the women. Among their significant others, D'Onofrio does a terrific job and brings the right passion and emotion to his role. Though his character is limited in screen time, it is well-written and he makes the most of it. Damon, however, does still the show with his one line, it must be said.

Despite the positives, Mystic Pizza is pretty run-of-the-mill for coming of age fair. Though it is well-executed, none of its scenarios or characters often exceed past clear cliches. While the writing does offer explanations and motivations, as it should, the characters still often run aground thanks to a storm surge of cliches. Those who will not enjoy the cliches of the genre would better off passing on Mystic Pizza. Moral boundaries, class issues, and the marriage question, permeate the film and the film offers no new insight on any of them. It offers no criticisms, rather it simply portrays its characters in these situations. In many ways, this is quite noble. However, as a film, it does feel a bit stale in that regard. Fortunately, a film that relies upon as many cliches as Mystic Pizza must handle them well to still be good and the film accomplishes this.

Overall, Mystic Pizza is a terrifically acted film that is fun to watch, funny, and a feel good experience. Not challenging cinema in the least, Mystic Pizza is merely a pleasant film that will likely leave your memory soon after you watch it, but that is hardly a bad thing.
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