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Take one local pizza place, a handful of young talented actors and sprinkle over a well-written version of a timeless plot. Add a liberal amount of spice and you have Mystic Pizza.
Set in blue-collar Mystic, Connecticut, this coming-of-age film follows the romantic entanglements of three young Portuguese waitresses in a struggling Pizza Parlour.
The three close friends all have vastly different personalities, especially sisters Daisy (Julia Roberts) and Kat (Annabeth Gish). Daisy is fast and fiery, pursuing a romance with a flashy rich guy, Charlie (Adam Storke). He too, has a passionate side and the relationship becomes interesting when we discover all is not as it seems.
Kat has higher aspirations, her sights set on studying astronomy at Yale in the coming autumn. To fund this, she takes a babysitting job for newcomer to the area, affable preppy Tim (William R.Moses). While looking after his daughter she falls for his intellectual charm, only to have her heart broken when his wife comes out to join him in Mystic.
Jojo (Lili Taylor) has already stepped up to the altar once, but couldn't see it through. Genial, but limited, fisherman Bill (Vincent D’Onofrio) is a good catch indeed and while Jojo is very much in lust with him, she is not yet ready to give up her independence.
While the plot does not incorporate any new ingredients, this film is a tasty delight. A little sentimental, but it manages to stay upbeat and humorous. It is also a good chance to see some of the first film work of many future stars, not least Hollywood supernova, Julia Roberts.
In short, this is an often overlooked, lip-smackingly good slice of cinema.
I first saw this on an obscure channel late at night and I didnt expect much. I thought it was a scrappy bit of 80s cinema lost in TV hell. I am pleased to say that I was entirely wrong.
Mystic Pizza is a well-scripted film brimming with bubbly, likeable characters. The capable cast all give memorable performances, especially Conchata Ferrell as Leona the motherly owner of the pizza parlour.
Nothing ground breaking, but a charming, feel good treat from the 80s.
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