Successful Woman's Secret Won't Stay Buried in New Netflix Film – BookTrib

Late in September, Netflix premiered its adaptation of the 2015 New York Times best-selling psychological thriller, Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll (Simon & Schuster).
Bruna Papandrea, film producer of Wild, Big Little Lies and Luckiest Girl Alive, has said of Knoll’s writing style, “I deeply admire her boldness of vision and her eagerness to challenge the status quo of how women are allowed to behave in their own stories.”
The book and the film will be triggering to some audiences, as it features post-traumatic stress disorder, slipping drugs, rape, victim shaming and gaslighting. But those who read or watch will discover a story of immense empowerment, growth and healing.
The book follows Ani FaNelli, portrayed by Mila Kunis, who is ready to cement her place as a “successful woman” with a job at the New York Times as well as her marriage into a wealthy family. But Ani has a big secret, one that continues to haunt her since she was a teenager and one that she’s eager to keep buried from everyone — the public, her fiancé, the magazine where she works and even herself. What Knoll isn’t afraid to point out, however, is secrets like Ani’s refuse to stay buried forever.
The film gets off to a striking start, as Mila Kunis explains in a voiceover that marriage should not be “the crowning achievement for women” — while Ani is shopping for the perfect cutlery to feature on her wedding registry. While brandishing two knives, she imagines both blades covered in blood, her fiancé lying dead on the floor and people rushing from the area in a panic before thinking to herself, “Snap out of it, psycho.”
This is a perfect depiction of Jessica Knoll’s novel, which is all at once a powerful, angry and self-aware novel, while also operating as an intense psychological thriller with deep secrets.
Luckiest Girl Alive was a New York Times bestseller in 2015 and 2016 and is garnering reenergized attention in light of its Netflix adaptation, which has received rave reviews and has been at the top of the Top 10 Watched Netflix films since its premiere.
Since Luckiest Girl Alive, Knoll has written a second novel, The Favorite Sister, which also features strong, out-of-the-box women and a backdrop in a troubling entertainment industry. Two sisters are invited to participate in a reality TV series, Goal Diggers, though no one could have expected it would end in murder.
After working on Luckiest Girl Alive, Bruna Papandrea has picked up the rights for The Favorite Sister, which will be produced by her company, Made Up Stories, in partnership with Endeavor Content, as a television series of its own.
Jessica Knoll is the New York Times best-selling writer of Luckiest Girl Alive and The Favorite Sister. She adapted and executive produced Luckiest Girl Alive for the screen, starring Mila Kunis, now on Netflix.
In 2021, she was named a screenwriter to watch by Variety, and in 2019 her original script, ‘Til Death, sold to Amazon and made The Black List. Her books have been published in over forty languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and bulldog, Beatrice.

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