Ani Fanelli (Mila Kunis) appears to most people as a New Yorker that has it all – a well-paid position at a magazine company and a dream wedding to her fiancé Luke Harrison (Finn Wittrock) fast approaching. When the director of an upcoming crime documentary begins to explore Ani’s side of a shocking incident that occur many years ago, however, Ani is forced to confront the dark truth that threatens to expose her meticulously crafted life. This newly released thriller from Netflix doesn’t quite tick all the boxes, but at the same time it’s certainly not the worst way to spend an evening.
Director: Mike Barker
Writers: Jessica Knoll
Starring: Mila Kunis, Chiara Aurelia, Finn Wittrock
Based on Jessica Knoll’s 2015 New York Times bestselling mystery novel, Luckiest Girl Alive explores a multitude of controversial and disturbing subjects, such as the aftermath of sexual assault, along with delving into horrific school shootings, which can understandably be unsettling for some viewers. One thing I would like to highlight would be the fact that no prior announcements about the sensitivity of the topics were noted at the start of this flick, despite us living in a world where many streaming services place “trigger warnings” on old classic children releases, such as Disney’s Dumbo or The Jungle Book, for instance.
In general terms, the movie was extremely easy on the eye and shot well, with the majority of the story being based in New York, but actually filmed on location in Ontario, Canada. Some critics lambasted this decision and claimed that a truly New York feel didn’t translate well to the big screen, but for the everyday casual viewer such as myself, this wasn’t a huge problem to navigate around.
There were one or two downsides to the flick, however, the pacing at times seemed a tiny bit rushed and the constant changing of timelines became somewhat convoluted as the film wore on. There were also one or two scenes and decisions made by certain key characters that left you scratching your head in bemusement at the best of times.
In terms of the cast, Mila Kunis starred as Ani Fanelli, while Chiara Aurelia adopted the role of the younger Ani throughout the almost two-hour runtime. Elsewhere, support came from various angles, primarily led by Finn Wittrock, Connie Britton and Scoot McNairy, who appeared as Luke, Dina and Andrew, respectively.
All in all, Luckiest Girl Alive probably isn’t going to be winning any major awards this year, but at the same time, it seems like a solid enough film to have streaming on Netflix. The flick also included some convincing acting performances and a rather good take on such delicate and sensitive subjects, as previously touched on. As noted, Luckiest Girl Alive is now streaming on Netflix.
“I’ve carried this horrible thing with me alone for years…”
Ani Fanelli – Luckiest Girl Alive