Welcome to the Ending Explained for The Luckiest Girl Alive, the latest Netflix book adaptation that is now a feature film on the streaming service. The film is based on the book of the same name, written by Jessica Knoll, who also writes the script for the movie. The film stars Mila Kunis, and Chiara Aurelia. The film tells the story of Ani, a woman living in New York who writes for a famous women’s magazine. When some bad memories of her past begin to reappear, they will send her on a path of self-discovery.
The film divides the story into two different timelines and jumps back and forth between them. However, while this decision works for the story in novel form, it doesn’t work as well in the shape of a movie. It makes the movie feel longer than it is, and it also makes the movie feel messy and scattered. There is just not enough time either to develop all the themes that the novels tackled, and the result is a movie that feels overstuffed with things one on top of the other.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for The Luckiest Girl Alive. Read at your own risk.
What Happened To Ani In The Past?
The movie divides itself into two separate timelines: the past, and the present. In the past, Ani tells the story of what happened to her. In the beginning, we don’t fully understand what she is talking about, but soon enough, it is revealed that Ani is one of the survivors of a school shooting. It is all very grim, but Ani tells the story because we need to understand the kind of woman she is in the present. A woman that needs to be covered with acceptance and reaffirmations.
Ani tells of how she arrived at a new school and how good she was at English class. She soon developed fame for being a good writer, and because she was a pretty girl, a lot of guys began following her around. The most popular guys, including a guy named Dean, and some others. One of them even becomes her boyfriend. However, deep inside, Ani was not one of the popular group of students, and she spends most of her time with a student named Arthur.
Arthur is smart, and he and his best friend, Ben, don’t seem to fit in with the rest of the school. One day, Arthur and Ben take up arms and start shooting inside the school, killing all the kids that bullied them throughout the years. Arthur not only starts shooting, but he also gives Ani the chance to take revenge on Dean. You see, Ani was raped by several guys, including Dean, but she never told anything to anyone except Arthur and Ben, her friends. Arthur gives the gun to Ani, but she cannot kill Dean. Instead, Ani uses a knife and kills Arthur. Ben shoots himself later.
Dean is wounded and is left in a wheelchair, but he begins telling everyone that Ani was part of the shooting and that she helped Arthur and Dean plan it. From that moment, Ani becomes a reject in school, and also at home. She wishes to leave home and become an important woman in the city.
What Happened To Ani In The Present?
In the present, Ani has done everything in her power to leave the rape and the shooting behind. She has transformed herself into the successful woman she always wanted to be. She now works for one of the most prestigious women’s magazines in the country, and she is a valuable member of the team. Her boss praises her to no end. However, Ani only writes puff pieces, while other writers write about subjects that really matter. It is here that it is revealed that an independent filmmaker is making a documentary on the shooting and wants to interview Ani for it.
Ani doesn’t want to, but at the same time, she thinks it could be a nice opportunity to give a final closure to that entire affair. She agrees to the interview. However, she is scared because she is about to get married to a man named Luke. Luke comes from money, and she wants to be the perfect wife for him. She fears that the documentary could make noise and that Luke would not like it. She is right. Luke would prefer it if she could just forget about it. It is clear that Ani and Luke are not meant for each other.
The day of the interview arrives, and Ani tries to answer the questions in the most polite possible way. However, when the director brings Dean to the interview, Ani gets triggered, and she abandons the shooting. Dean, who is in a wheelchair, is promoting a new book that tells his story as the survivor of the shooting. Ani cannot believe he is making money out of that. When her boss gets fired, she gives Ani one last piece of advice, telling her that she needs to do what she wants and not let anyone else decide for her.
Ani confronts Dean and decides that she will write something about the rape and the shooting, in full detail. This will destroy Dean’s home life and career, but Ani couldn’t care less about it. She also ends her engagement with Luke, and she decides to accept the promotion she received to write for the New York Times Magazine, Which is something she always wanted to do. The film ends with Ani feeling more confident than ever before with her decisions.