Mystic Pizza (1988) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

A coming-of-age movie about the most idealistic stage of life - that summer after high school, when all of life looms before us like a clean slate, waiting to be written upon.
It focuses on three girls from lower middle class ethnic families in a fishing town in Connecticut (Mystic, Connecticut - actually the town of Groton), and the pizza joint that they work in.


The three girls are played by:
  • Julia Roberts. She's the sexy, unfocused one who hopes a rich guy will fall in love with her.
  • Annabeth Gish. She's the brainy one, headed for Yale, who's falling in love with the guy she babysits for.
  • Lili Taylor. She's the gregarious, perky one. She is hot for a hunky local fisherman who doesn't believe in sex before marriage. Hey, I didn't write the movie, OK?

and ...blah, blah, blah

Looking back on it, the most interesting thing about the film is to see some of the young stars:

  • Julia Roberts when she worked for normal wages. This movie came two years before Pretty Woman, and Julia was essentially an unknown. Great face and hair, and a better performer than people give her credit for. She does a great job at creating a character suitable for this kind of movie. Her unique talent is to fashion herself into a shell that women can project themselves upon.
  • Matt Damon. I don't even think he had a line, but he looked ever so upper crust and blond as a preppie nicknamed "Steamer".
  • Interesting that Annabeth Gish has never had more of a career. She was billed first in this movie, over Julia. That'll be something to show her grandkids!

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1, enhanced for 16x9 screens. Looks great1

  • no features except a trailer

A lightweight romantic comedy. Cute and watchable, well filmed, no real meat, and absolutely no edge. Marketed toward young females. In other words a chick-flick, but you won't have to vomit if your girl wants you to watch it with her.

Men rate it 5.9 at IMDb, which is the range for films that are just on the borderline of enjoyable. Women rate it 6.7, indicating a better than average film. Girls under 18 rate it 7.4, masterpiece level. If the whole world were teenage girls, this would be Citizen Kane, and Monet would be hanging in the Vatican.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: No consensus. I guess two and a half, but an enthusiastic thumb up from Ebert, but one down from Maltin. Ebert 3.5/4, Maltin 2.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.0.
  • With their dollars ... it wasn't a smash, hit, but it took in $13 million.
My guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C.

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