Based on the book of the same name, Luckiest Girl Alive follows Ani/TifAni (Mila Kunis) as she plans her dream wedding to Luke (Finn Wittrock). On the surface, Ani seems to have everything under control, with expensive clothing and a women’s magazine job. A true-crime documentary director, Aaron (Dalmar Abuzeid), asks her to participate in a film about a school shooting and offers Ani the opportunity to tell her side of the story. This offer unravels her seemingly perfect life as her past trauma resurfaces.
I did read this novel; well, I attempted to read it. I probably got a third of the way through before I started skimming. I thought the character of Ani was insufferable and unlikeable. Also, I was not too fond of the writing, so I was curious to know how the film would shake out since the author Jessica Knoll was also the screenwriter.
The film was better than the book. Ani was slightly likeable but still so mean, and her comments hurt my stomach. Kunis did an excellent job in making Ani more likeable and even conjured up a little sympathy from me. The palpable rage brewing under the surface as she recollects these events was very impactful and in the end, when she got her revenge, I got a little misty-eyed. That probably seems like a weird comment, but her situation happened and will likely continue to happen to people.
The current storyline occurred in 2015, and the school shooting occurred in 1999. Choosing that year was not an accident, as that was the same year that the Columbine shooting happened, starting the whole school-shooting phenomenon. The situation was the same as well; two guys relentlessly bullied decided to take revenge. However, this story also added that three popular guys at a party assaulted Ani.
I like non-linear timelines; the plot device is successful, in general, in all media and it worked for the film. It was also interesting to see the flashbacks as Ani relived some of the events in her life. The first scene like that was the very first one, and at first, it was not very clear; then, as the film went on, you found out why the act of holding a knife was presented that way. One thing that bothered me, and it’s happening in most films and television shows now, is scenes being too damn dark. I guess it’s to create a mood, but I find it annoying because I can’t see everything happening.
This is also quintessentially American; most people in middle and high school at that time remember the Columbine shooting and the discussions about it in class, aka people my age and a little older. Of course, at that time, everyone thought it was a one-off thing and wouldn’t happen again (nervous laughter). I suppose, because of my age, seeing the scenes of the actual shooting was hard to watch.
Luckiest Girl Alive will not be for everyone; it has multiple scenes that are hard to watch, like sexual assault scenes and school shooting scenes. Though, I guess this is where the scenes being too dark kind of worked out, as you couldn’t determine what was happening. I liked the film and was glad I took the chance on it after disliking the book so much.
I’m a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I’m an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I’m not at the movies, I’m either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.