When Netflix announced it would be adapting Jessica Knoll’s best-selling book, Luckiest Girl Alive, into a film starring Mila Kunis, people were understandably excited.
Knoll spent six gruelling years hoping for an adaptation and faced multiple rejections, underwent rewrites and all kinds of other roadblocks. Then, in February 2021, Kunis signed on and transformed the entire project for the better.
“I am SO proud of the fact that Mila Kunis read the 63rd draft of my script and was like yeah, I get this girl, and so grateful for her shrewd third act notes that helped me take the 64th draft into another stratosphere,” Knoll wrote on Instagram.
With a true crime twist and rootings in real life, the film is going viral. Within days of its release, it hit the number one most-watched slot on the streaming platform.
Below, everything you need to know about Luckiest Girl Alive.
What is the plot of Luckiest Girl Alive?
The film follows the life of Ani, who the film synopsis describes as “a sharp-tongued New Yorker who appears to have it all: a sought-after position at a glossy magazine, a killer wardrobe and a dream Nantucket wedding on the horizon.”
One day, that all changes when she’s approached by a true crime documentary maker who wants her to share the story of a “shocking incident” that occurred when she was at high school. In the wake of this request, Ani begins to confront some dark truths from her past that she can no longer keep buried.
Is Luckiest Girl Alive based on a true story?
The film is an adaption of Jessica Knoll‘s bestselling novel of the same name, which was released in 2015. It became an instant best-seller, with many women connecting to the underlying theme of trauma, which for Knoll, was rooted in some truth. Knoll revealed that the book was somewhat therapeutic to write, as Ani’s trauma was largely based on her own.
In 2016, Knoll penned a gut-wrenching personal essay for Lena Dunham’s online newsletter Lenny, where she revealed she had been gang-raped by three boys at her high school when she was just 15.
“The first person to tell me I was gang-raped was a therapist, seven years after the fact,” she wrote. 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,” Knoll wrote. “What I’ve kept to myself, up until today, is that its inspiration is not.”
In the wake of her assault, Knoll was mercilessly bullied by her peers at school, who branded her a ‘slut’ and refused to offer support. For years, she carried her pain and trauma alone, keeping it to herself and trying to avoid any feelings associated with the event. Then, through writing her book, she found her voice again.
When asked how Knoll was able to write the rape scene in such a raw, unflinching manner, she started out by claiming it was a work of fiction. Then, when approached by one woman who was particularly moved by her writing, she decided to tell the truth.
“It really killed me to see the looks on these women’s faces when I would say, ‘Oh no, you know, I just made it up,’ and I just never wanted to see that look on anyone’s face again,” she told the Today show in March 2016.
Knoll dedicated the book to her fellow survivors, writing, “To all the TifAni FaNellis of the world, I know.”
When is Luckiest Girl Alive dropping on Netflix?
Luckiest Girl Alive dropped on Netflix Australia on the 7th October.