Netflix’s Mila Kunis-led drama film Luckiest Girl Alive has stirred up a lot of discussion among viewers, as it faced backlash for failing to include a trigger warning for its graphic imagery and sensitive material. Now, people are wondering if it’s based on a true story, as the movie was adapted from author Jessica Knoll’s book of the same name. 

Keep reading to find out everything we know so far about the real story, the author and more. 

Is ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ a True Story?

The film adaptation and the book are based on personal events that happened to Jessica when she was 15 years old. At first, the writer didn’t reveal that her mystery thriller — published in May 2015 — was inspired by her own past, initially telling readers that she wrote it based on other women’s stories. However, she later confirmed that the plot details of Luckiest Girl Alive were taken from her experience. 

“It really killed me to see the looks on these women’s faces when I would say, ‘Oh no, you know, I just made it up,’ and I just never wanted to see that look on anyone’s face again,” Jessica wrote in a March 2016 essay in the newsletter Lenny Letter.  

After receiving widespread recognition for her story, Jessica wrote the screenplay for the 2022 movie.

Is ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ Based on a True Story? Author Details
Courtesy of Netflix/YouTube

What Is ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ About?

The story focuses on Ani FaNelli, who seemingly has the picture-perfect life with a wealthy fiancé and a successful career working as a writer and editor for a New York City women’s lifestyle magazine. However, her internal monologue gradually unravels the trauma she has lived with since being gang raped in high school and subsequently experiencing a school shooting. After a documentary filmmaker approaches Ani about her connection to the school shooter and the scrutiny she has faced because of it, she wrestles with the reality of her adult life. 

The film aligns closely with the book’s original plot. 

‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ Is Based on a True Story: Details on Author, Her Book, Movie and More
Sabrina Lantos/Netflix

Why Netflix’s ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’ Faced Backlash

After Luckiest Girl Alive premiered on the streaming service on October 7, Netflix faced criticism from social media users for failing to include a trigger warning at the beginning of the movie. 

“Wow. Good job, @netflix on the trigger warning you didn’t provide on your Luckiest Girl Alive movie,” one person wrote via Twitter shortly after the film’s streaming premiere. “PSA for anyone who is gonna watch the movie, there is very graphic intense scenes of sexual assault in this movie.”

Others spoke out about wanting a proper warning before watching the graphic assault depicted in the movie. 

“Huge trigger warning for sexual assault on Luckiest girl alive on Netflix,” another Twitter user weighed in. “It’s two pretty long sickening scenes half way through, only warning you [because] I wished I was warned.”

If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more. 

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