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Mystic Pizza (1988)

Mystic Pizza

Director:Donald Petrie
Cast:Annabeth Gish, Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor
Genre:Film, Comedy

By Jack Purdy | Posted

With its too-cute-for-words title (which actually refers to a pizza joint in Mystic, Conn.) and its story line about three gal pals coming of age the summer after high school graduation, film viewers of the testosterone persuasion would most likely mutter "chick flick" when confronted with this 1988 comedy. But Mystic Pizza is much more than the sum of its title and plot summary. For one thing, this is the movie that first got Julia Roberts noticed--the future America's sweetheart and officially designated Best Actress plays Daisy, a working-class girl who knows her stunning looks can be a ticket to the good life if she snares the right rich guy. (Oddly, Daisy is much more practical than any character Roberts has played since.) And the Queen of the Independents, Lili Taylor, got her first major role here as Jojo, seemingly headed for marriage with her high school sweetheart (Vincent D'Onofrio). As Hollywood history would have it, however, the lead role went to Annabeth Gish as Kat, bright, college-bound, and uncertain about her future. Gish is quietly excellent in a should-have-been career-making role that did absolutely nothing for her, while Roberts and Taylor, in very different ways, have become cinematic icons. That's why Sunset is the boulevard of broken dreams.

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