The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
When I first heard about the movie Luckiest Girl Alive I was skeptical about watching it. I hadn’t heard much, and I’m not a big movie person in general. However, a few of my friends were extremely excited to watch it, so I agreed to join in. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but Luckiest Girl Alive left me speechless, in a good way.
I want to warn you that there may be some spoilers here, but I’ll try to avoid them as much as possible and discuss some overarching themes for the most part. I should also mention that this is not a light-hearted movie, but instead, one that should come with many trigger warnings including sexual assault and gun violence. That being said, the film is a masterpiece in the way that it handles and depicts many sensitive topics.
In 2015, Jessica Knoll wrote the novel Luckiest Girl Alive and later in 2016 revealed that much of the main character’s trauma she had drawn from her own life. To quickly summarize, the Luckiest Girl Alive book and movie follow a sharp-tongued social climber and magazine editor: Ani FaNelli, played by Mila Kunis. Ani lives a seemingly perfect life, but all of it is a facade to cover up a dark past. Here are some of the main reasons that this movie takes a different approach to various serious social subjects in our society today.
Unlike many other films I have seen, Ani, the main character and a victim herself, is very strong throughout the film as it dives into the long-term impacts that trauma has on someone’s life. There is no correct way to deal with grief and trauma, but the watcher is able to understand why Ani took the actions she did, given her circumstances. It’s clear that the adult Ani has not healed from the trauma that took place in high school, and you witness her start to unwind. Watching Ani’s internal commentary as friends, family, coworkers, etc. make off-handed comments to her without fully understanding her trauma is eye-opening as we can watch the impact of these comments through a victim’s lens.
Additionally, many of the male characters in the movie are painted in a poor light, and rightfully so. I was very pleased that there were still male characters, specifically Ani’s teacher, that were a safe space for her, even when her Mom wasn’t. I’m not a big fan of the “all men are trash” motif, because it acts as a blanket statement and discredits the good ones that do exist in our lives. After all, women are also culprits of victim-shaming, as demonstrated by scenes from Luckiest Girl Alive.
Every character in this movie is flawed in one way or another, including Ani. Some have argued that the movie tries to compare two victims and their trauma in a “which victim has it worse” type of fashion, but that’s a superficial view. Instead, this movie demonstrates that just because someone themselves is a victim, does not mean they are incapable of doing horrid, evil things.
Overall, Luckiest Girl Alive is a great watch and reels you in within the first few minutes with its mystery and dark undertones. The transition between the past and present scenes is masterful. This film left me on the edge of my seat with its suspense with twists and turns along the way; it isn’t until the end that you truly get the full story. I highly recommend watching this film, but please be aware of the heavy topics that this film portrays.