At one point in recent Hollywood history, Gone Girl knock-offs were dropping left and right. That kind of twisty, female-focused thriller took a backseat in the past couple of years, but Mila Kunis is here as a new ambiguous lead with a mysterious past to make Amy Dunne proud.
In Luckiest Girl Alive, Kunis plays Ani Fanelli, a woman who by all appearances seems to be–get this–the luckiest girl alive. She’s experienced major career success (“Your voice is simply peerless,” a colleague gushes) and she’s planning a “lavish but tasteful” wedding with her rich fiancé (Finn Wittrock). “Luke comes from money, but I have something no trust fund can buy. The edge,” Ani narrates. What is her edge, you may ask? “Love my work, hate babies,” she hilariously explains.
It won’t surprise you to hear that everything with Ani is not as perfect as it seems, even if she does hate babies. A chance encounter with a high school teacher sends Ani spiraling to her troubled past. In flashbacks, the young Tiffani is played by Chiara Aurelia, a seasoned veteran at playing a vilified high schooler on Freeform’s Cruel Summer, which similarly travels through time to unravel a murky incident in the protagonist’s past.
In this case, teen Tiffani clearly had a lot troubling her. The trailer teases prep school girls screaming as they flee flooded corridors, Tiffani getting forcibly thrown onto a bed and looking bedraggled in a convenience store, and an honest-to-god explosion. In the present, the adult Ani is threatened by a classmate and questioned by a fellow reporter as to whether she was a “hero or an accomplice” in “the incident” at her high school.
“I don’t know what’s me and what part I invented,” she admits to her fiancé, later musing in voiceover, “Sometimes I feel like a wind-up doll. Turn my key, and I will tell you exactly what you want to hear.”
Luckiest Girl Alive is directed by Mike Barker with a script from Jessica Knoll, who wrote the novel upon which the movie is based. The film also stars Connie Britton, Jennifer Beals, Scoot McNairy, Thomas Barbusca, Justine Lupe, Dalmar Abuzeid, Alex Barone, and Carson MacCormac. It premieres on Netflix on October 7, 2022.