Leah Meyerhoff's I Believe In Unicorns is a beautiful evocation on young love which tells the story of Davina, an imaginative teenage girl, who often daydreams of escaping her secluded reality. Having grown up quickly, due to being the sole caretaker of her handicapped mother, Davina is desperate to escape her reality and live a more care-free lifestyle she feels has alluded her. When she meets Sterling, an edgy, older boy who lives life on his own terms, Davina quickly falls head-over-heels, seeing him as her salvation and ultimate freedom from the life she has lived. I Believe In Unicorns feels like a deeply personal film, as the film presents how a naive young woman, desperate to be desired and appreciated, can fall victim to her own fantasies of romance. Besides its brutal honesty, what stands out the most about Leah Meyerhoff's I Believe In Unicorns is is stylistic flourishes, using surreal imagery in a beautiful way that perfectly captures the psyche of a young woman with an active imagination. One of my favorite sequences of the film takes place when Davina is essentially ignored by Sterling, the day after they were first intimate, with the film showing surrealistic imagery of Davina's mental state - inter-cutting imagery of her being buried alive, wrapped in saran wrap, suffocating from not feeling appreciated, effectively evoking her vulnerability and emotional state. When Davina and Sterling run away together, this character is completely swept up in the whirlwind of adventure and romance, blinding her from Sterling's more volatile side. Very much Davina's movie, the viewer is given very little insight into Sterling, but it's apparent for the audience that he has issues, being emotionally unstable at times, possibly stemming from a flawed relationship with his father. If I had one complaint about this film it would probably be the handling of Sterling, a character who feels bi-polar, something I feel wasn't intentional. The character didn't have to be more developed, but I feel his intensity was over-the-top and unnecessary at times, as the film had already done such a good job at capturing Sterling's lack of interest, by comparison, and the blind romanticism of Davina's character. When Davina's enchantment is eventually shattered, her disillusioned due to Sterling's volatile nature is broken, and in the final few minutes of I Believe In Unicorns it becomes clear that Davina finally understands that she must be comfortable with her own skin to find romance, with sex alone not defining love. Creatively made and deeply personal, Leah Meyerhoff's I Believe In Unicorns is an enchanting film about young, troubled love.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.