The tale of three sisters, Mystic Pizza erupts out of a Mystic, Connecticut, pizza parlor of the same name. Kat (Annabeth Gish), Daisy (Julia Roberts), and Jojo (Lili Taylor) all have their own strengths and weaknesses, but it’s working together that allows them to survive, even thrive, in this small, New England community. Beautifully shot on the coast, the Blu-ray version lets us see the romantic interplay for these sisters and their respective partners, and makes you just a little hungry for pizza.
Like in any family, each daughter has a “role.” Kat is the successful, smart, driven one who works four jobs and impresses everyone by going Ivy League; Daisy is the town “tramp” who wants to get out of Mystic but whose insecurity manifests in her lack of self-respect and belief; Jojo is the one who seems most likely to be content and never leave, but her concerns about how married life will change her relationship with Bill (Vincent D’Onofrio) lead her to keep jilting him at the altar.
Of course, because these roles are so defined, you’ll probably recognize that you’re being set up to see them shattered and broken. Maybe Kat doesn’t always have everything perfect all of the time; maybe Daisy is really more reliable (and not as crass) as she seems; maybe Jojo will figure out that change and settling down doesn’t mean she has to lose the life she’s always known. All of these are stereotypical ideals wrapped sweetly in the lives of these sisters, and the way they are allowed to change and grow provides some strong dramatic, romantic tension for audiences at home.
Recognizing who you are, commonly packaged in cinematic form as “coming of age movies,” is an important part of growing up, and differentiating where you’re supposed to be. Whether it’s occupationally, romantically, spiritually, or anything else, growing up comes with growing pains, and Mystic Pizza is fraught with them. Thankfully, the packaging is romantic and humorous, and this keeps the movie from getting bogged down in overdone melancholy.
I have to admit some surprise that there weren’t any special features here, besides the original theatrical trailer. Stockpiled with people who were or went on to become famous, there seems to be plenty of room for some “where are they now” or “looking back twenty-five years” featurettes. Nevertheless, you can catch Roberts in the early years, and even see a Matt Damon cameo to get your fix of nostalgic retrospective!