There's nothing wrong with romance or comedy. When combined they can become a very powerful thing on screen. With great movies like Empire Records and Reality Bites (yeah, it's great), there were plenty of fun movies geared towards a younger audience back in the late 80s and throughout the 90s.
So the question is, where does Mystic Pizza fall into that category? It's a memorable movies, but not memorable for the reasons the two movies above are memorable.
Come find out why...
For sexy Daisy (Roberts), her sensible sister Kat (Gish) and their wisecracking friend Jojo (Taylor), the summer after high school is a summer they'll never forget. Slinging pizza at a local restaurant, the three girls share their hopes, dreams and plans for escaping their small town. And when Daisy is swept off her feet by a wealthy young man named Charles, they all think she's found her ticket out. But when the girls learn that Charles isn't the man they think he is, they discover that with friendship and self-respect, not only will they find real happiness (and a way out of Mystic)...they just might find themselves!
The movie is par at best. Director Donald Petrie's (Grumpy Old Men, Miss Congeniality) seemed to have trouble keeping the film even when going back and forth between stories. Starting off with Jojo's wedding sequence at the beginning of the film didn't help to establish any of the characters. All we knew of Jojo is that she didn't want to get married and Vincent D'Onofrio's character, Bill, seemed to have no interest in the process as well. During this first sequence we are briefly introduced to Daisy (Roberts) and Kat (Gish), but no personality for either is shown at this particular point. Now, what I typed might seem like gibberish, but it seemed that Petrie's point in this scene was to quickly introduce the characters, which seems pointless. It's like 'HEY! Here they all are. Jojo has issues, Bill is a goofball and that's Daisy and Kat. Can we move on with the main story now?' Quickly after this opening scene we're thrown into the main story, which we, the audience, are forced to sort through. It's a very messy way to direct a film, and even more so a messy way to write it.
All blame can't be put on Petrie, though, as casting director obtained some fun, pretty faces that didn't fit the respective roles very well at all.For example, Daisy (Roberts) is suppose to be this 'hardcore' rebel of the group. She's got a filthy mouth that even gum can't clean up and she pretty much does what she feels like. Julia Roberts has only been a 'badass' once in her film career, and it wasn't here. Her lead role in Erin Brockovich displayed a tougher, older and wiser demeanor. She carried that role like Gerald Butler's King Leonidas carried his troops into battle. Regretfully, Roberts carries Daisy like a struggling actress trying to find strong footing with her character. There are times where she's rough/tough and then quickly that goes away for no reason. She doesn't hold her character very well at all. The same can be said for Kat and Jojo. At the end of the day, they were all hired for pretty smiles and personalities and not because they fit the characters, which is a great mistake on the casting director's part.
So is there anything redeeming about this film? There are two things redeeming about this film. The first is that you get to see young actors/actresses at the beginning of their careers. You get to see their imperfect abilities at work, and you get to say you saw one of their first films. When people generally speak of this movie that's the first thing they talk about. The second redeeming value of this film is that it has funny moments sprinkled throughout. For example, there is a scene where Jojo and Bill are about to get it on her parent's living floor and Bill can't because there is a lit up statue of Jesus looking at him. The comedy gets better in this sequence when Jojo tries to 'please' Bill against the kitchen door and her parents walk in. Bill freaks out, runs (trying to pull up his pants) as Jojo's father gives chase. You feel bad for Bill. There are plenty of funny moments like this, but they don't come together to make a solid film.
As for the Blu-ray portion of the movie, you get a better-than-DVD picture, but it's certainly got some issues. There's a lot of graininess in the picture, plenty of artifacts and some color that is off. The reds and the bright colors stand out quite well in darker scenes and in very bright days in the movie. At the beginning of the film (during the wedding scene) there was a black spot in the middle of the picture. I tried to remove it from my television for about 30 seconds before I realized it was the film. 20th Century Fox didn't do a great job with the clean up of this re-release. Fans of the film will like it, but as an objective viewer I have to say that it was one transfer that was simply 'okay'. The sound is on par with the picture, as you get it in a 2.0 DTS-HD.
As for features? None. For $19.99 I can see why, but that's still sad. I would have loved to see some good featurettes about the production or maybe some commentary.