Oh Them Silly Unicorns: Meyerhoff’s Coming of Age
Debut Prizes Style Over Substance
Director Leah Meyerhoff
most effectively conveys the nature of her debut film, I Believe In Unicorns
, in its opening credits, which features a host of (mostly feminine) childhood fantasies revolving around celebratory effects, such as sparklies, cakes, and (yes) unicorns, all eventually melting down into smeared goo. Memories and dreams
evaporate into the mess of reality, it seems to say, and we’re thrust into the late adolescence of a protagonist who, on the cusp of adulthood, seems to be getting her first taste of that. Skirting between vaguely morbid instances and sometimes carefree tempos, Meyerhoff’s narrative seems to lose focus, petering out into a gasp of profundity that would have felt much stronger had it been preceded by more remarkable characterization.
A sheltered, lonely young woman, Davina (Natalia Dyer
) is forced to take care of her sickly mother.