Mila Kunis delivers a mature performance in Luckiest Girl Alive


Mila Kunis teams up with director Mike Barker for an adaption of a NY Times bestseller in Netflix's Luckiest Girl Alive. Jessica Knoll, author of the book, pens the script for the film adaption. There's no doubt about it: Ani FaNelli (Kunis) is a sharp-tongued New Yorker who seems to have it all: a high-profile magazine job, a killer wardrobe, and a Nantucket honeymoon on the horizon. Nevertheless, when the director of a crime documentary asks her to share her side of the shocking event that took place when she was still at the Brentley School when she was a teenager, Ani has to confront a dark truth that threatens to unravel the carefully crafted life she's built for herself.

I hadn't heard of the book Luckiest Girl Alive until I saw the trailer for the film. Primarily I wanted to see the movie as Mila Kunis showed some great range in the 2020 film Four Good Days, where she portrayed a thirty-year-old caught in the merciless grip of heroin addiction. From the moment that Kunis appears on screen, it's clear that she's looking to take on more edgy roles in the second half of her career.

In an early scene when Ani, with a robust sarcastic tone, tells herself to "Put yourself together, you psycho!" and when she expresses disgust and hatred for her own origins from a low-income household, about snobbish high society, and about her job with a rather brutal mixture of hate and self-loathing. Occasionally, The Woman's Bible, a glossy women's magazine, is reminiscent of the harsh tone of American author Bret Easton Ellis. In addition, it offers the mean cynicism of Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl and its film adaptation by David Fincher. It is also the harsh tone of Bret Easton Ellis.

On a post-wedding planning lunch date with her fiancee Luke (Finn Whitlock), she sneakily shoves his leftover pizza in her mouth. Consequently, she pushes herself to the limit at fitness training. Later at the editorial office, Lolo Vincent (Jennifer Beals) asks her to write "something dingy that makes money" if she wants to move further in her career.

The assignment sets up the movie's general tone and plot. During flashback sequences, we discover that Ani is actually Tiffani, her real name. Chiara Aurelia is a young actress who portrays the version of Ani that she is known as Tiffani. She just got a scholarship to a renowned private school and had terrible experiences there. A big part of the book's story revolves around Tiffani's rape in her high school years.

The secondary plot is Ani also surviving a school massacre, while Dean Barton (Alex Barone), a former classmate turned author and anti-gun activist, has made serious allegations against her in the book. The media asks if she is a "heroine or an accomplice?"

Luckiest Girl Alive was partly taken from the author's experiences in high school. There is a succession as Kunis, the director, and writer, depicts peer pressure and bullying, as well as the way rape culture manifests itself in the flashbacks and how it manifests in the present day.

Final Grade: B-


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