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Mystic Pizza
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Reviews & Ratings for
Mystic Pizza More at IMDbPro »

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28 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

One of my favorites

10/10
Author: grumpy_otter from Virginia
14 July 2004

What makes this movie so very charming is the incredible ensemble acting. Watch Vincent D'Onofrio in an early role, as well as Julia Roberts. Annabeth Gish is completely enchanting as Kat, and William R. Moses very believable as the flirting husband. Most wonderful, however, is Lili Taylor as JoJo. Sometimes known as the queen of B movies (I think that was Ebert's title), here she shows the range and talent that indicate she deserves superstardom.

Unlike the misleading re-release that features Julia's face prominently, this is NOT a star vehicle, but depends on the interaction of all the players. A wonderful coming-of-age film that has been one of my favorites for 15 years.

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28 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

One of the best "chick flicks"

8/10
Author: preppy-3 from United States
25 March 2004

Movie about three young waitresses who work at Mystic Pizza in Mystic CT. Good girl Kat (Annabeth Gish)is going to college and falls in love with a married man (William Moses). Her sister, bad girl Daisy (Julia Roberts), falls in love with rich kid Charles (Adam Storke). And Jojo (Lili Taylor) is deeply in love with Bill (Vincent D'Onorfrio) but is afraid to marry him...which he wants.

Pretty predictable but still lots of fun. This was released with no fanfare in 1988 (Roberts was still unknown and there were no 'name' actors in the cast) and went on to become a surprise hit. That shouldn't be a shock--this is the type of movie that isn't really challenging or deep. You know the characters, you know the situations and you know it's going to have a happy ending. Still, there's nothing wrong with a film like that if it's entertaining and well-done--and this one is.

The script is lively and it was beautifully shot on location in CT (in Mystic and other towns). Gish is just great (and top-billed) in the movie. She was also 17 (the age of her character too) so it adds to the realism. Taylor is good but has little to do. Her character is very one note and ALWAYS yapping about commitment. Roberts is good but her character is TERRIBLE! Foul-mouthed, obnoxious and grating--her verbal abuse of her sister Kat is more than vicious. I really hated her! Nevertheless, this movie jump started her career. D'Onorfrio (a wonderful character actor) is given nothing to do but look handsome and hunky--which he does. Storke is VERY good-looking and gives a great performance as a rich kid--what ever happened to him? And Moses is just OK as a married man. Add Conchata Ferrell as the pizza store owner and Matt Damon in a one line role in his film debut.

A real nice, pleasing little movie. Perfectly catches the small town feeling too. Worth seeing. But don't let Roberts' face on the box fool you--it's NOT her movie.

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24 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

2 out of 3 ain't bad

7/10
Author: herbqedi from New York, NY
5 July 2002

Mystic Pizza is a pleasant-but-slow slice-of-life comedy-drama. It centers on the lives of 3 young waitresses in a Pizza Parlor in blue-collar Mystic, CT. The parlor's owner is a hard-scrabble-with-heart-of-gold Portuguese "princess" buoyantly portrayed by Conchata Farrell. She makes the scene where the food critic tastes her pizza the most memorable in the movie.

As for the girls, two of the three stories work well. Lili Taylor is a revelation as the fun-loving JoJo coming to terms with the cliche her life is and how to come to terms with the love she feels for stalwart-but-limited Bill, winningly portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio (now of Law and Order: CI). These two light up the screen with humor and awkward aplomb. Julia Roberts puts her raw-but-winning talent on display as the blue-collar Daisy, a student-teacher in the school of hard-knocks.

The one unfortunate element is that the movie spends far too much time on a nowhere relationship between Annibelle Gish and preppy husband-away-from his wife portrayed by the affable but feckless William R. (aka Billy) Moses. This story just makes the movie drag.

But overall, Mystic Pizza is a kind of young-woman-oriented Diner, amiable, fun, and chock-full of young talent.

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26 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

one of the minor defining movies of my generation

Author: Rachel-20 from California
16 November 2002

This was one of THE slumber party movies when I was in high school, and fourteen years later I still enjoy it. Of course now I realize what a jerk the married man is from the first time he looks THAT WAY at Kat, and I'm a little surprised (although I married young myself) to see young marriage portrayed positively in a major motion picture. It's also refreshing to see Julia Roberts before she acquired the required Hollywood Superstar Anorexic Look.

Some of the scenes that make me laugh as much now as they did when I was 15: The Porsche full of fish, and JoJo's parents' and boyfriend's reaction when JoJo and Bill are caught in a compromising position. This film has some very tender moments as well. A warning, however: the last line will probably make you groan.

It's not terribly deep, and it's not going to win the Palme D'Or. But it's well worth putting in the VCR on a quiet evening when your husband's out or your girlfriends are over.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A charming and convincing coming-of-age story of three young women.

Author: Frank R. A. J. Maloney (frajm@aol.com) from Seattle, WA
30 August 1998

_Mystic Pizza_ would be remembered, if for no other reason, as the film that first made us pay attention to Julia Roberts. It also showcases the early talents of several other actors who later rose to some success and fame in the movies: Lili Taylor and Vincent Phillip D'Onofrio among them. Others in the cast have perhaps deserved better in their careers than they achieved, especially Annabeth Gish, but here they shine fresh and alive.Actually, the entire ensemble cast, including the minor parts, is excellent -- natural, unaffected, convincing performances.

The story concentrates on three young women on the cusp of new lives -- marriage, college, responsibility -- and tracks them through that special summer between the childhood and adulthood. I think it was more unusual in 1988 to show female friendships and a female point of view than has perhaps become ten years later. The women are smart and individualized, surprising and interesting as people.

The men are less so. D'Onofrio has the most fully realized male character, the young fisherman who wants commitment, who wants to be more to his girl than just a sexual aid. The other two men, one a preppie in rebellion and the other a middle-aged married man looking for something he left behind, are mostly just occasions for the women to find some new grounding and growth.

I am also very fond of this film for its insistence on finding one's way in the world by first finding out what is right thing to do, the right way to live.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Taylor and D'Onofrio: The Real Show

Author: Edgar L. Davis (luludavis@aol.com) from Hardwick, Vermont
16 March 2003

This film was unique for its time. There is actually a place called Mystic, Connecticutt. It's a beautiful town and the director used it well.

Julia Roberts is fresh and sexy. Thank God that this film was made before, Pretty Woman or else there would be no record of Julia's pure beauty before she became a 'star'. The reason to watch this film however are the performances given by Lili Taylor and Vincent D'Onofrio. They film could have been about the relationship between characters. Taylor is 'real' sexy. I'm a big fan. She also delivers one of the most emotionally honest monologues in cinematic history. D'Onofrio delivers a down-to-earth performance of a sensitive male who values love over sex. Also the performance given by the actress who plays the pizzeria's owner is very lovable.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Nice Romantic Comedy

8/10
Author: Theresa (tgjenn@richnet.net) from Mansfield, Ohio
7 September 2000

I first saw this movie when I was 17 and enjoyed it; more than 10 years later I still do. It does have some predictability to it, particularly in the relationship between Kat and the Yale alumnus. However, there are also some priceless scenes --- one of my favorites is how Jojo's parents react when they catch her and Bill in a "compromising" pose in the dining room. I thought the acting was well done, especially from Julia Roberts and Conchatta Ferrell.

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A story of 3 waitresses and the pizza shop owner coming to terms with thier lives, strong "7" of 10 rating.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
25 December 2000

"Mystic Pizza" is the film that served notice that Julia Roberts, as "Daisy", was destined to be a name actress. The movie's name comes from the location - the pizza shop in Mystic, Conn., a fishing village with a concentration of Portugese immigrants. Matt Damon also had a small part, as the younger brother "Steamer" of the rich boyfriend.

The 4 women in this film - the 3 waitresses and the pizza shop owner - all have significant hurdles to cross. The pizza shop is in financial danger, and depends on a great review by the food critic to bolster business. Daisy is somewhat of a misfit, a hothead with a lot of talent but somewhat lacking in direction, and who is being courted by a rich guy. Another, bound for Yale but financially poor, and things are complicated by an increasingly close relationship with the father who hires her as a babysitter while mom is working in England. The other, faints at the alter, and is having trouble with commitment, while her boyfriend continues to try and get her to marry him.

The acting is uniformly good, and there are both serious and funny situations. It is an easy movie to "get into", and there is a good sense of completion when it ends. Not earth-shaking, but I rate it a strong "7" of 10.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

What's the secret ingredient in the pizza?

7/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
9 January 2006

Pizza, that delicious Italian dish has been adapted by people all over the world into their own way to express their interpretation about the way it should taste. It's not surprising that in Mystic, Ct., where there's a large Portuguese population, Leona, the owner of the Mystic Pizza restaurant has created a concoction that is admired by everyone. Don't ask her to reveal her ingredients because she will not tell you.

Daniel Petrie, the director, takes us along for a ride to this coastal town in which Amy Jones' story is set. We meet the three friends that work in the restaurant, Jojo, Daisy and Kat; the last two are sisters. Jojo is intense, but has a problem accepting the fact that Bill, her fiancé, wants to formalize their engagement. In the opening scenes we watch as Jojo faints in the church where she is marrying Bill. Panic strikes and she jilts him.

Daisy, is a beautiful girl who appears to be grounded. When Charlie, the preppy guy finds her at a local bar, it seems he is quite taken by her. Daisy, who should have known better embarks in a love affair with this young which one realizes is doomed from the start. Not only are they from two different worlds, but romances like these are just a passing fancy for wealthy boys. So is the involvement with the wise and intelligent Kat with Tim, the young father with a child who needs a sitter. Kat will be hurt in thinking Tim will want her over the absent wife.

"Mystic Pizza" is about the friendship of the three local girls and their way of looking at life from different angles. Annabeth Gish makes a great appearance in the film with her Kat. Lili Taylor is also good as Jojo. This was a film that presented Julia Roberts that hinted at her success as a movie actress. The rest of the cast plays well in the film. Vincent D'Onofrio, William Moses, Adam Storker and Conchata Farrell do good work under Mr. Petrie's direction. Seen in a small role that if one blinks, one would miss him, is Matt Damon making his first screen appearance.

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Laughably phony...

4/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
28 November 2009

Tired, cutesy-poo romantic comedy-drama concerning the love lives of three young Connecticut women who work in a homey little pizza parlor. "Mystic Pizza" begins with a shot of fabricated group photos featuring the central characters in happy times, the faces of the actresses clearly cut out and pasted on other bodies. It's an immediate sign that not much know-how, cleverness, or talent was used in conceptualizing this picture, which is strictly an underachiever lucky enough to gain attention after Julia Roberts' career picked up. Young, impressionable girls might find something emotionally tangible here, but seasoned moviegoers should quickly detect the artificial flavoring. Amy Holden Jones co-wrote the screenplay (based on her original story) with help from Alfred Uhry and Perry and Randy Howze, all of whom seemed to have been raised on TV. *1/2 from ****

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