“Mystic Pizza” is a deftly told coming-of-age story by Amy Jones about three young femmes as they explore their different destinies, mostly through romance; it’s genuine and moving.

Title refers to a pizza parlor in the heavily Portuguese fishing town of Mystic, Conn, where three best friends, two of them sisters, are working the summer after high-school graduation, all on the verge of pursuing different directions in life.

Jojo (Lili Taylor) apparently is headed for marriage to high school sweetheart Bill (Vincent D’Onofrio), but the idea terrifies her, while he’s all for it.

Of the two sisters, Daisy (Julia Roberts) is a vamp who’s after the good life and knows how to use her looks, while Kat (Annabeth Gish) is the ‘perfect’ one # headed for college on an astronomy scholarship. Unlike her sister, she’s not too savvy about men, and falls for the married man (William Moses) she babysits for, with painful results.

Script is remarkably mature in its dealings with teens. Characters are funny and vulnerable but capable of shaping their lives, and script artfully weaves in themes of class, destiny and friendship.

Mystic Pizza

  • Production: Goldwyn. Director Donald Petrie; Producer Mark Levinson, Scott Rosenfelt; Screenplay Amy Jones, Perry Howze, Randy Howze, Alfred Uhry; Camera Tim Suhrstedt; Editor Marion Rothman, Don Brochu; Music David McHugh; Art Director David Chapman
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 104 MIN.
  • With: Annabeth Gish Julia Roberts Lili Taylor Vincent D'Onofrio William R. Moses Adam Storke
  • Music By: