‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ Is a Hasty, Disappointing Adaptation of a Popular Novel

Netflix’s ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ undermines an distinctive plot with rushed filmmaking.

By Aurora Amidon · Published on October sixth, 2022

Ani Fanelli (Mila Kunis) has all of it because the Luckiest Girl Alive. A devastatingly good-looking, doting fiance named Luke (Finn Wittrock), a cutting-edge editorial job at a high-end journal, an immaculate corporate-chic wardrobe. But beneath the flamboyant dinners and the glitz and glam, she is harboring a main secret.

When she was a teenager, Ani was a faculty capturing sufferer. During the fallout, one of her classmates, Dean (Carson MacCormac/Alex Barone), accused her of being partially chargeable for it. Over a decade later, Dean is threatening to seem in a documentary the place he’ll lastly expose her, as soon as and for all. Mike Barker‘sLuckiest Girl Alive, written by Jessica Kroll and based mostly on her novel of the identical title, sees Ani making an attempt to clear her title whereas additionally struggling to cope with the troubling secrets and techniques of her previous.

For the bulk of its 115-minute runtime, probably the most evident fact about this movie is the truth that it ought to have been a collection as a substitute. Plot factors and twists are dealt out at a break-neck pace, not giving the viewers sufficient time to digest what they simply noticed, not to mention care a lot about it.

Indeed, essential scenes whip by so quick that its powerful to discern what components of the story are literally necessary in Luckiest Girl Alive. Were instructed, for instance, that younger Ani (Chiara Aurelia) is shut associates with Arthur (Thomas Barbusca), a truth that’s crucial to understanding her characters historical past as a entire. But throughout flashback scenes, their relationship isn’t actually explored, leaving the viewer with no emotional connection to Arthur or a friendship that a lot of the movie revolves round.

Similarly, When Ani is reunited with a instructor, Andrew (Scoot McNairy), who helped her in her time of disaster again in highschool, the scene holds the potential to supply actual perception into how she ought to cope with a huge dilemma she is confronted with. But the scene comes and goes and is completely inconsequential. As a consequence, Ani and Andrews previous collectively doesnt actually quantity to something.

Not solely does the speedy pacing of Luckiest Girl Alive make the plot tough to observe, nevertheless it additionally makes it powerful to grasp the characters motivations. When Arthur makes a life-changing choice on the climax of the movie, for instance, the one perception the viewer has into his actions is one dialog he had with Ani a few scenes earlier.

But the characters lack of depth is most irritating with regards to Ani. A survivor of a tortured previous, she has meticulously rebuilt her life to change into highly effective and indestructible. But past this and clunky, heavy-handed dialogue and a voice-over the place she straight refers to her private development with near-toxic doses of exposition, we arent provided a lot details about her. Aside from taking down her enemies, what are her pursuits? We know that she aspires to be a badass within the editorial universe, however is it as a result of she has a actual ardour for writing? Or is it merely the facility that pursuits her? A personality who has remodeled herself from the within out to change into unbeatable within the face of trauma has the potential to be fascinating. But not if we dont know anything about her.

Much of the movie seems to observe a path of breadcrumbs towards a neatly wrapped-up ending, which one can solely hope solutions all of these questions. Instead, the minute that we really get to the actual decision the meat of the story the credit roll.

The hasty, lackadaisical nature of Luckiest Girl Alive is just not solely irritating by itself but additionally as a result of the plot itself is fascinating and takes commendable dangers in exploring powerful, well timed themes comparable to gun violence, sexual assault, and the dangers inherent in talking up towards both of these issues. Multiple instances, the movie brushes up towards these complicated points, like when Luke means that Ani offers along with her trauma in a personal manner, casually silencing her voice as a survivor. But, in line with the movies fleeting type, Barker refuses to linger on the second lengthy sufficient for it to actually strike a chord with the viewers.

Similar to watching a spectacular plot be considerably squandered, its additionally irritating to observe expert actors be handed a sleepy, chewed-up script. In her first large, dramatic film function in a couple of years, Kunis is a power to be reckoned with as Ani, enjoying her with a skillful mix of stony stoicism and vulnerability. Aurelia additionally deserves a shoutout for tackling such a powerful, unforgiving function with agility and class. And unsurprisingly, the great Connie Britton can also be a standout, enjoying Anis cloying mom with each nuance and depth.

Other actors fall extra sufferer to the clunky script, together with Wittrock, who’s hardly given something to do in addition to be the rich arm sweet. Successions Justine Lupe additionally sadly serves as nothing greater than the supportive greatest pal character.

Its clear what Barker was making an attempt to attain when he got down to adapt Luckiest Girl Alive: a Gone Girl-like story of revenge about sexual assault. But, sadly, the movie lacks the depth and catharsis required to dwell as much as such a thought-provoking predecessor.

Related Topics: Mila Kunis, Netflix

Aurora Amidon spends her days working the Great Expectations column and making an attempt to persuade folks that Hostel II is one of the perfect films of all time. Read her principally embarrassing tweets right here: @aurora_amidon.

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