Mystic Pizza (1988)

mystic pizza

“Think I got eyes in my butt?” “That’s where your brains are.”

The Scoop: 1988 R, directed by Donald Petrie and starring Annabeth Gish, Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor, and Vincent D’Onofrio

Tagline: Discover a movie which hits home about love, friendship, dreams and life. A movie that you’ll be talking about long afterwards. Experience something special, something romantic, something honest.

Summary Capsule: 3 girls, in limbo between high school and college, learn about life, love and damn good pizza.


Andie’s rating: To new moons, dark skies and comets

Andie’s review: As with the movie Shag, I first saw Mystic Pizza because it stars Annabeth Gish. She’s from my hometown of Cedar Falls, IA; she went to my church. Neat, huh? So that is the reason I rented this when I was younger. I immediately enjoyed it; this is a really fun, touching comedy. I go back and watch it every once in a while because it has also taken on new meaning for me as I’ve gotten older.

The story is about three girls who have grown up together in Mystic, Connecticut. Kat (Annabeth Gish) is the responsible one, working three jobs in order to save up money to go Yale, where she is starting school in the spring. Daisy (Julia Roberts) is Kat’s older sister. She’s the bad girl of the group, meeting boys and drinking a lot and generally being the rebellious one versus her sister’s straight-laced attitude. Jojo (Lili Taylor) is the happy medium friend between the two: a little more sex-crazed than Kat, a little less wild than Daisy. Jojo runs out on her wedding to Bill right at the beginning of the movie because she’s afraid of commitment. Over the course of the movie, which is around a semester, Jojo deals with being in love with Bill versus being afraid of commitment, Daisy falls for a little rich boy and has to deal with the idea that he might actually like her, not just be using her to shock his family. And Kat, in my favorite storyline of the movie, has to deal with falling for the dad of the girl she babysits for.

This movie has so many funny moments and so many really sweet moments. When Daisy first meets her little rich boy, Charles Gordon Windsor Jr., he invites her to play pool with him versus another little rich boy and his trophy girlfriend. Well, the other little rich boy breaks and Daisy shoots first for her team. She runs the table like an expert, culminating in the sinking of the 8 ball that is just priceless. It’s one of my favorite scenes in all of cinema. Actually, just about all the scenes between Daisy and Charles are very funny. They play pool, they hitchhike, she leads him on a clothing scavenger hunt, and when she thinks he’s cheating on her she dumps fish in his car. It’s good stuff all around. Another really hilarious character is the girls’ boss. All three girls work in a pizza joint (hence the title) and the woman they work for, Leona, is just a hoot. She’s a bossy, sassy lady who won’t tell anyone the secret ingredient of her Mystic pizza.

A lot of the really sweet moments involve Kat’s storyline. She starts babysitting a little girl named Phoebe. Phoebe’s mom is in England working, but Phoebe’s dad, Tim, is in Mystic working on the house. He’s a Yale grad, in his early 30s, charming, intelligent and good looking. What is a girl to do except totally fall for him? Also, when he’s showing Kat around the house they go up to the attic and he tells her this wonderful story of Elias and Elizabeth Montoth and how Elias’ ghost still haunts the attic balcony waiting for Elizabeth to come home. It’s so romantic. As someone who’s been in a similar situation, the older-man-crush is done really well and their relationship is dead on. It reminds me a lot of Marty and Willie in Beautiful Girls, but Kat and Tim’s relationship culminates in a really wonderful night that goes horribly wrong and makes me want to cry every time I see it. Kat ends up sobbing to Daisy in a really moving, heartbreaking scene between the two sisters.

But Kat grows from the experience, which is about all you can do from something like that. Daisy finally gets a grip and realizes that what she and Windsor Jr. have is actually something pretty great and Jojo finally ties the knot with Bill. The movie ends with the three of them sneaking out of the reception to drink a little champagne. It’s a really cute homespun movie that is funny and touching and immensely enjoyable.

Your face looks like pepperoni
Your face looks like pepperoni


  • Annabeth Gish goes from playing the young girl in love with the older man in Mystic Pizza to the significant other of the older man that the young girl loves in Beautiful Girls. Interesting.
  • Matt Damon, in his first screen role, appears as Windsor Jr.’s younger brother.

Groovy Quotes

Kat: Watch it!
Daisy: Think I got eyes in my butt?
Kat: That’s where your brains are.

[about Elias]
Tim: They say you can still hear his ghost walking around on stormy nights. ‘Course, it could be this squeaky board.
Kat: Are you gonna fix it?
Tim: Wouldn’t dare.

Daisy: Can I get you something?
Charles Gordon Windsor Jr.: No thanks. But I think your mother could use a drink.

Tim: Do you want a soda or some juice?
Kat: I’ll have some wine.

Daisy: I screwed up!
Charles: Yeah, but you gave it 100% effort.

[about Tim]
Jojo: That gutless wonder back there? He makes Bill look like the catch of all time!

Daisy: Do me a favor?
Kat: What’s that?
Daisy: Next time you take on a Yaley, pick one your own age.

If you liked this movie, try these:

  • Beautiful Girls
  • St. Elmo’s Fire
  • Shag


  1. A great review about a fab film. I also love Beautiful Girls, but it doesn’t seem to be as well known.

  2. Yeah, I remember this one. Not the best film of all time, but it’s stuck with me over the years, and I recall most of the moments mentioned here, so – can’t have been too bad, now can it?

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