Netflix, the biggest streaming service in the world, keeps pushing content every week in ways no other streaming service can do. This week’s movie is one that takes itself seriously enough that it is worth watching but also falls apart as it tries to do too many things at the same time. The Luckiest Girl Alive is a film that tries to tackle some impressively big topics but ends up staying on the surface of most of them. There are hints but never actual clues of what the movie is talking about.
The result is a film that feels messy in its structure but also brings back Mila Kunis, doing a fine job in the title role. The story is also entertaining enough to warrant a watch if you have nothing else to do with your lazy Sunday. The Luckiest Girl Alive is a film directed by Mike Barker and written by Jessica Knoll, who also penned the novel the film is based on. The film tells the story of Ani a woman living in New York who is about to get marry and just having the time of her life. However, the memory of a dark moment in her past will wake up some dark secrets.
The Luckiest Girl Alive is a movie about finding confidence in yourself, doing exactly what you want to do, and not letting anyone else come between you and your dreams. It is also a movie about the gap between social classes, between those who have money and those who don’t. It is also a movie about rape and the consequences such an act can have on people’s lives, and it is also a movie about gun control and school shootings. The Luckiest Girl Alive tries to do a lot, but because of it, it ends up feeling shallow when seen in its entirety.
Barker is a veteran TV director, and he has worked on some of the most popular and well-regarded TV shows of the last decade. It is clear that Barker knows how to handle many topics at the same time. However, when it comes to developing those ideas, the script, and the direction fall short. There is just too much stuff in the movie, and in this case, there is no next episode where the ideas can develop and be explored further. The Luckiest Girl Alive has just two hours. That’s it.
So, we are in front of a movie that is trying to do justice to all the topics we mentioned above and at the same time deal with two different timelines. The movie divides itself between the past and the present, and it jumps back and forth for the entire run. This structure has been used in other movies many times, but there needs to be a balance, and at some moments the sequences become too extensive. So much, so that you might forget that the other timeline exists at all as you are watching the other one.
We could say that the movie is a bit messy in terms of structure Nevertheless, it manages to be compelling by telling a story that is equal parts raunchy and quite serious. The themes are definitely worth talking about, there is no doubt about that, but the way the story presents them feels more like a checklist, and some things feel like they are there just because they need to be. Shock value is quite important these days, and some sequences do feel made with that intention at all.
That last bit will definitely depend on how you see those topics, so they might not be an issue at all for some members of the audience. What the movie absolutely has in spades is that TV look. It isn’t bad, all the scenes are well shot, the framing does its job, and yet you feel like you are watching a standard TV show. There is zero personality coming from the visuals and it is a shame because movies should always strive to be as cinematic as possible, no matter the subject.
Mila Kunis is great in the main role, and Chiara Aurelia also does a good job as the younger version of the main character. The young actress has to go through a lot of tough scenes, and she does very well. The rest of the cast feels fine, but there is really no other standout actor. This is a shame because there are some perfect actors in here, but the roles they have to work with feel very limited. Scott McNairy and Connie Britton are excellent actors, but their screen time is so limited that it feels criminal.
The Luckiest Girl Alive isn’t the best movie on Netflix, and the pacing feels quite glacial as the movie jumps between two timelines. Mila Kunis is great, and it is fantastic to see her come back in a major role. However, there are a bit too many issues with the film, that keep it from being as good as it could be.