The number of things going on in Mila Kunis the “Luckiest Girl Alive” interfere with how well the novel was adapted for the film. This #MeToo-influenced thriller, which Mila Kunis both produces and stars in, uncomfortably combines a mass school massacre with gender and class politics. The result is a theatrical package that ungainly mixes these hot-button subjects.
Mila Kunis Marriage
Ani FaNelli, played by Kunis, is a have-it-all magazine journalist who is on the verge of getting married to her wealthy boyfriend Luke (Finn Wittrock) and landing her dream job at the New York Times. However, there is tension over whether her professional goals will have to be put on hold in favor of his more lucrative career.
However, a documentary maker is once more raising difficult questions about the school shooting that occurred when Ani was a student at the elite Brentley School, bringing back memories of the sexual assault Mila Kunis experienced there while receiving little support from her socially ascetic mother at the time (Connie Britton, reduced to a caricature).
Mila Kunis as a Celebrity
The young Ani is portrayed by Chiara Aurelia, and amid the continuous barrage of memories that plague her older self, her trauma is brutally shown. These graphic scenes bring to mind “13 Reasons Why,” another Netflix original movie centered on a high school rape and the expectations placed on a juvenile girl to keep quiet.
Ani, now an adult, struggles with what to say in this situation because Mila Kunis fears coming out would somehow jeopardize her future in high society, especially because one of her assailants has gained some level of celebrity.
Mila Kunis “The Luckiest Girl Alive”
Why discuss “this event that happened to you so long ago,” asks the charmingly illiterate Luke. “Luckiest Girl Alive” feels like it’s juggling too many plates as it stands, joining the tale in progress and working to relate the mass shooting to Ani’s story in a way that confuses the mystery.
The adaptation was written by the book’s author, Jessica Knoll, and was directed by Mike Barker. With the exception of a devoted instructor (Scoot McNairy) who re-enters Ani’s life, the supporting cast, which includes Jennifer Beals as her hard-charging editor, has a stick-figure quality while Kunis and Aurelia portray Ani’s suffering.
On the surface, the combination of a well-known protagonist, a successful book, and a controversial subject matter seems like the kind of recipe that pays off for Netflix, and the film still may. Even if the title is meant to be humorous, “Luckiest Girl Alive” fails to live up to its potential, serving as a reminder that fortune often favors the brave.