After a family visit to Mystic, Connecticut, I was compelled to view once again the film Mystic Pizza whose setting was that breathtaking New England town. We did come across the actual Mystic Pizza establishment, but I remember hearing that the film makers used a store two doors away which was more photographable.
The story revolves around three young adult girls, all of whom work as waitresses at Mystic Pizza, which has gained fame from its fabulous tasting pizza, the recipe for which the owner-chef refuses to reveal.
A young Julia Roberts portrays Daisy Arujo, a Portuguese beauty who cannot seem to rise above her station in life as a pizza waitress. Her sister Kat (Annabeth Gish), however, is preparing to go off to Yale where she will study astronomy. We first meet the girls when they serve as bridesmaids to their fellow worker Jojo, who decides at the altar that she is not ready for a major commitment to her longtime boyfriend Bill.
At the local billiard parlor, Daisy meets the wealthy college boy Charles Windsor Jr. who is attracted to Daisy even though they are from different social classes. Jojo continues to see Bill even after jilting him at the altar, as he still loves her. Daisy’s sister Kat takes on an additional baby-sitting job to help her to finance her college education. She helps out at the Travers household caring for their four-year-old child Phoebe while her mother is working for her firm in England for a few weeks. This leaves the Travers dad, Tim, in need of help to care for Phoebe. Unfortunately, the inexperienced Kat falls for Tim who appears to take advantage of her while his wife is away.
Daisy has her own problems when the three girls visit the local Country Club one evening, dancing outside the Club to which they do not belong. Through the window, she clearly sees Charlie holding a coat for an attractive female as they ready themselves to leave the Club. Once again, it seems that Daisy cannot make her dreams come true.
Suffice it to say that all ends well for everybody, though not necessarily happily for each of the girls. An interesting sidebar has Mystic Pizza as the object of a visit by a newspaper food critic who appears not happy with his visit. The owners and waitresses crowd around the TV when the critic is scheduled to give his opinion of his meal at Mystic Pizza. I doubt that it would be a spoiler to reveal that Mystic Pizza got the highest rating from the critic.
I wanted to see this film again for another reason. Matt Damon, as a teenager, had a very small part in it as Charlie’s younger brother, nicknamed Steamer. He had one line to say at the dinner table when Daisy came to dinner to meet Charlie’s parents. Both Julia Roberts and Matt Damon have come a long way since their Mystic Pizza days. I can imagine they both laugh at their memories of the film when they happen to meet.
Mystic Pizza (1988)