What happens when Lady Luck is down, out, and in need of a reinvention after a traumatic attack?
Mila Kunis stars as the titular “Luckiest Girl Alive” in the Netflix adaptation of Jessica Knoll’s bestselling 2015 novel of the same name. The film premieres in select theaters September 30 and will stream on Netflix October 7.
Kunis plays New York Times Magazine editor Ani FaNelli, who seems to be living the perfect New York City life: with the best fashion, best friends, and best fiancé (Finn Wittrock). Ani has it all — until the director of a true crime documentary approaches her to relive a shocking incident from her prestigious high school. Ani is forced to confront a past that threatens her future.
“I don’t know what’s me, and what part I invented,” Kunis as Ani says in the trailer.
“Cruel Summer” breakout Chiara Aurelia plays the teen version of Ani, with Thomas Barbusca, Scoot McNairy, Justine Lupe, Dalmar Abuzeid, Alex Barone, Carson MacCormac, and Jennifer Beals also starring. Connie Britton portrays Ani’s mother.
“Handmaid’s Tale” director Mike Barker helms the film and also executive produces alongside screenwriter Knoll, Lisa Sterbakov, Shayne Fiske Goldner, and Steve Hutensky. Lead star Kunis produces the film as well as Bruna Papandrea, Jeanne Snow, Erik Feig, and Lucy Kitada.
Novelist, screenwriter, and executive producer Knoll shared that she could not be present on set during the climatic sequence due to her personal experience with traumatic events. Former Cosmopolitan editor Knoll revealed in 2016 that she was gang-raped as a teenager. Knoll penned a personal essay for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter saying that “Luckiest Girl Alive” helped her confront her trauma.
“The first person to tell me I was gang-raped was a therapist, seven years after the fact,” Knoll wrote (via People). “The second was my literary agent, five years later, only she wasn’t talking about me. She was talking about Ani, the protagonist of my novel, ‘Luckiest Girl Alive,’ which is a work of fiction. What I’ve kept to myself, up until today, is that its inspiration is not.”
Knoll continued, “I’ve been running and I’ve been ducking and I’ve been dodging because I’m scared. I’m scared people won’t call what happened to me rape because for a long time, no one did.”
Check out the trailer below.