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Mystic Pizza (1988)

Film review: Mystic Pizza (1988), directed by Donald Petrie

Set in a small town called Mystic, three teenage girls learn about love and how to make a great pizza.

Kat (Annabeth Gish) is the studious one, who babysits a girl whose father (William R Moses) she ends up falling for – and who falls for her. Her sister Daisy (Julia Roberts) is the wild one, who flirts with a young man who turns out to be so upper class he has lots of names: Charles Gordon Windsor Jr (Adam Storke) – and stuck-up parents who thinks Daisy isn’t good enough for him. Jojo (Lili Taylor) is dating Bill (Vincent D’Onofrio) but keeps on having heated arguments with him.

And that’s about it. The story plods along following the three girls and their romantic pursuits, while also arguing amongst themselves, waitressing at a local pizza place and hoping against hope that a famous radio food critic will come and praise the food so business will pick up.

Mystic Pizza is a homely sort of film. It doesn’t really push any boundaries, it doesn’t really provoke, it doesn’t really do much – except for making me feel like I’m betraying my gender for not thinking this film is soooo amazing.

I mean, yes, it’s a chick flick and I generally like chick flicks. If it’s got a soppy love story, so much the better. What, then, is the problem with Mystic Pizza? It’s just meh. Sure, it’s cute, but there’s nothing there to really keep up any interest. It’s the sort of film you can have in the background while getting some ironing done or something.

This is not the sort of movie to warrant a review saying “IT SUCKS AND I HATE IT”, just like it doesn’t warrant a review saying “OMG THIS IS THE BEST FILM EVER”. It’s just meh. Bland. Forgettable. Not exactly dull, and not really bad, just a film that passes the time and that’s it. I can’t get worked up about it, because there’s nothing there to get worked up about.

Maybe it’s because I’m no longer of the appropriate age to what these girls are, or maybe it’s because the late 1980s setting doesn’t interest me that much, or a combination of the two, or that I just can’t relate to the story or the girls. Sure, Kat and I would probably get along swimmingly, but I’ve never even been a babysitter. So I don’t know. It probably works wonders if you can relate to the characters or to the setting, but as I can’t it’s not the sort of film I’ll rush out to get on DVD because I want to watch it again and again.

2.7 out of 5 pizza slices.


An easily distracted Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel, when there's not a plague on.

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