“The Unicorn” Is A Cute Romantic Comedy With A Kinky Twist


If you don’t know what a “unicorn” is in the parlance of the bedroom, the title of this film may come as a bit of a surprise for you. A romantic comedy through and through, it explores a cute and fairly commonplace cinematic relationship, with the added bonus of throwing in something new. Despite the sexy title, which is code for a person who wants to engage in an encounter with a couple, just know that if you’re bemoaning the lack of rom coms in the marketplace these days, this movie is a tonic. It’s here to make the strong case that the genre has some life left in it. A fun little independent flick, it offers more than its fair share of smiles.

The film is a romantic comedy about a couple who inadvertently learns that they need to spice up their relationship. Caleb (Nick Rutherford) and Malory (Lauren Lapkus) are a couple who’ve been engaged for a number of years now, much to the confusion and consternation of those around them. On vacation in Palm Springs for the weekend to help Malory’s parents’ Edie (Beverly D’Angelo) and Louis (John Kapelos) renew their wedding vows, they sort of realize they’re in a rut. Conversing with other happy couples, they sort of stumble on the fact that the secret to a happy marriage may just be a threesome. Initially thinking it might be fun, they run into misadventure after misadventure. As they struggle to find their unicorn, cracks form in their partnership, brining previously hidden things to the surface. Robert Schwartzman co-writes and directs a script that Rutherford co-wrote with Will Elliott and Kirk C. Johnson. John Scwartzman and Michael Rizzi provide the cinematography. Supporting players include Jeff Barry, Beck Bennett, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Lucy Hale, Maya Kazan, Kyle Mooney, and more.


A lot of the charm here is in how amusing it makes a particularly tricky situation. The dialogue sparkles and it’s hard not to be amused by the turns the story takes. Whether it’s a comedy situation or some third act seriousness, it’s all done with a light touch. The chemistry between the leads is palpable, even if they represent an “uncool” couple. Lapkus and Rutherford really work together. Kudos to the latter, who also is a co-writer here, for telling this story in the way he did. There’s a raunchier version of this plot that the title suggests, though it oddly works better as this somewhat innocent tale instead.

Robert Schwartzman is a filmmaker on the rise. A few years ago, I was really fond of his movie Dreamland. That moody piece really showcased his talents, while The Unicorn exercises a lighter muscle. Together, they suggest that Schwartzman is really a director to watch out for. He has an eye for how couples look at each other and an ear for how a long term pair sound. The flick gets a bit silly at times, but never so over the top that the reality of the situation is ruined. Quietly, this is one of the more confident efforts of 2019 so far.

This weekend, audiences on the lookout for some light fun can check out The Unicorn. It represents one of the best films of the year so far, even if that’s not considering too much in the way of serious competition. The combination of Lapkus, Rutherford, and Schwartzman make this all something that is quite charming. There’s a real heart on display that gives the comedy and romance its weight. Otherwise, this could have fallen flat or just been a silly exercise overall. This is well worth looking out for. It has charm to spare and will definitely make you smile. Give it a view and you’ll see what I mean…


Be sure to check out The Unicorn, in theaters tomorrow!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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