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DVD Pick: "Mystic Pizza" Review

I just caught this one again on TV and had to choose it as this week's pick. Julia Roberts looks so young and fresh, and that hair! Mystic Pizza was a sleeper hit when it was originally released in October 1988, and continues to be a fan favorite. Mystic Pizza served notice that Julia was destined to be a major Hollywood star. Even 12 years later, her performance, and the performances of Annabeth Gish and Lili Taylor, stand up to critical scrutiny.

Julia Roberts stars as Daisy and Annabeth Gish stars as her sister, Kat. The two of them, along with good friend JoJo (Lili Taylor), work together at a pizzeria in Mystic, Connecticut. Fresh out of high school, they are spending one last summer together before heading off to the real world. Kat has plans to go to Yale, JoJo has plans to get married, and Daisy just wants to fall in love. As often happens, real life intrudes on their plans. JoJo gets coldfeet at the altar when faced with that terrible "C" word - commitment. Kat accepts a side job babysitting the daughter of a local married architect whom she falls for with heartbreaking innocence. Meanwhile, Daisy is attracted to a rich guy from the other side of the tracks (that always seems to happen in movies).

Mystic Pizza is a cute, innocent little film. There's not a thing controversial about it - other than Kat's attraction to a married man. It's a shame Gish and Taylor's careers didn't take off like Julia's. They gave rock-solid performances and deserved to go on to bigger films.

The Mystic Pizza Restaurant is the hub of the movie. A subplot involves a restaurant critic, who eventually proclaims his love for the pizza and the ever-so mysterious ingredients. You can visit the real Mystic Pizza Restaurant chain on the Web at Mystic Pizza.com.

Rated R.


Directed by: Donald Petrie
Produced by: Samuel Goldwyn Jr.
Screenplay/Story by: Amy Holden Jones, Peter Howze, Randy Howze, and Alfred Uhry
Cinematographer: Tim Suhrstedt
Original Music by: David McHugh and Guy Moon
Production Designer: David Chapman
Casting: Jane Jenkins and Janet Hirshenson
Art Direction: Mark Haack
Kat - Annabeth Gish
Daisy - Julia Roberts
JoJo - Lili Taylor
Bill - Vincent D'Onofrio
Tim - William R. Moses
Charlie - Adam Storke
Leona - Conchata Ferrell

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