Luckiest Girl Alive

Based on the novel by Jessica Knoll, Luckiest Girl Alive follows Ani (Mila Kunis), a woman who seems to have it all. With a job at a high end women’s magazine and her engagement to perfect Luke (Finn Wittrock), everything is working out the way it’s supposed to. When a documentary director approaches Ani with hopes that she’ll share her side of the tragic incident that happened when she was a teenager, her life is suddenly turned upside down.

I usually read the book before I watch the movie, but I decided not to this time around. I wanted to focus solely on the screen adaption for once. What looked like a fast paced thriller with many twists and turns along the way captured my attention immediately. Unfortunately this was all very misleading. A thriller this was not. Instead, it was a full on drama with very heavy subject matters.

The pacing was slow burn which is fine, though not everybody’s cup of tea. I actually found this aspect to hinder my watching experience. It took too long for things to get going and by the time it did, it was almost like the pay off wasn’t worth it. That being said, I have to commend the way in which these mature themes were handled. Nothing was swept under the rug; it was right at the forefront and was definitely hard to watch at times. I commend the film for going to the places that it did in that regard.

Seeing Kunis in a more serious role was an interesting turn. I think her performance was fine, but the standout for me was Chiara Aurelia who portrayed the younger version of Ani. Having seen Aurelia in the 2021 hit Cruel Summer, I knew that she could nail this. All the scenes she was in gave me chills. I also have to give props to Connie Britton who did a great job as Ani’s washed up mother Dina. Seeing their dynamic throughout each time period really explained a lot as to why Ani was the way she was.

Overall Luckiest Girl Alive had a lot of potential that didn’t really take off in the end. That being said, it was a bold story that needed to be told and for that reason, I recommend checking it out.

Rating: ♥♥.5

Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman is a film that I have been (impatiently) waiting for for almost a year now. As soon as I heard about it, I knew it was something I was going to enjoy. I guess I just didn’t expect it to have such an impact on me afterwards or for it to have become one of my favorite films of all time! It really was that good and I already can’t wait to watch it all over again.

Cassandra ‘Cassie’ Thomas (Carey Mulligan) is a med school dropout who still lives at home with her parents Stanley (Clancy Brown) and Susan (Jennifer Coolidge) at the age of thirty. She has had the same coffee shop gig for ages where she has a great relationship with her boss Gail (Laverne Cox). On the outside, Cassie seems like a normal girl living a normal life.

But what nobody knows is that she is actually living a double life – at night, Cassie goes out to bars and clubs, pretends to get drunk so that guys will take her home all so she can snap out of it and give them a taste of their own medicine. It’s all part of her revenge tour against those who were responsible for the sexual assault and eventual suicide of her best friend Nina. These men must pay for what they have done and Cassie will stop at nothing until that happens.

At first glance, this movie may seem like a comedy and that is partially true. There are some funny moments and the writing is incredibly witty and sharp. It also seems like there is some romance thrown in complete with a falling in love montage to Paris Hilton’s iconic song Stars Are Blind. Underneath all that, however, is the depiction of a heavy subject.

The cast were absolutely flawless in this. Carey Mulligan should get all the awards for her portrayal as Cassie. I have never seen such a convincing performance before and it blew me away. I liked the other well known faces that popped up throughout including Alison Brie, Connie Britton, Max Greenfield, Bo Burnham, Molly Shannon, Alfred Molina and Chris Lowell.

Promising Young Woman was truly phenomenal. I really do believe this is because of how important the topic is and how instances like this happen all the time. Sexual assault is not okay and it is always overlooked. I loved how Cassie took matters into her own hands. She was determined and really wanted vengeance for what had happened to her friend. She was inspiring and heartbreaking all at the same time.

If you don’t go and watch Promising Young Woman now, you are missing out. This is not a movie to be missed! I know it is one that will stick with me for a long time.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥