The luckiest girl alivethe bestselling 2015 novel by Jessica Knoll, had its Netflix adaptation released over the weekend.
The story of how protagonist Ani – played by Mila Kunis – tries to rebuild and rebrand her life after a series of incredibly harrowing events during her teenage years remains intact for the film, but the ending has been changed.
The novel ends on a low note, while the film’s finale sees Ani write about her trauma New York Times Magazine. It’s quite a meta change since Knoll herself wrote an essay about Lena Dunham Lenny letter site explaining that the novel was more autobiographical than she initially admitted (you can read the letter here, but be aware of potentially disturbing content).
Knoll and Mila Kunis explained Weekly entertainment why they were working on changing the ending, with the former saying, “When Mila came on the scene, there were several conversations about how the ending didn’t quite land.
“At one point I remember saying how when I was writing my essay for Lenny letter that I was just flooded with messages from women sharing their stories and it unlocked something in us where we were, maybe there’s a way to use that to shape our ending.”
“It’s very meta that it’s a fictional story, a fictional character, but there are even more elements that are inspired by my real life. I like that we looked at the year that followed me writing the book and wrote my essay and the reaction to it and going on a TV show to talk about it I liked that we embedded that in the movie because I think it makes for a more epic journey that Ani goes on .”
The ending actually didn’t do too well with test audiences, with both women shocked that people didn’t seem to like or understand it. But that only cemented the idea that they were going to roll with it.
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Kunis added, “I know the ending is polarizing, which I think is what makes this movie so interesting. It’s not cookie-cutter and not everyone experiences this movie the same way.
“So many people had such a different experience while watching the same piece of content, including the ending. A lot of people didn’t like it, but I fought so hard for it to stay in. I’m really glad we won this fight because it’s so strong.”
The luckiest girl alive can be streamed on Netflix.