It’s not all from the fantasy behind the Netflix movie

The movie for the novel of the same name “I.Am.So.Happy” is currently breaking into the Netflix charts. The movie made me think. And with the question: Is it a fictional story? Search for clues.

10/12/2022, 6:58 PM10/13/2022, 8:21 AM

Chantal Staubli


brake alert: Those who haven’t seen the movie yet will encounter the details here.

“I’m Happy” – a satirical movie title that immediately encouraged me to watch it. And for once, it sounds better than the original title: “The Lucky Girl Alive.” I didn’t really read the movie description, I just read the keywords real crime and journalist – that sparked enough.

I only realized while watching that the real crime was referring to the movie and not a real criminal case. I was already too deep into the story, which affected unexpected twists and turns. Because: The movie is not shallow entertainment. He picked topics that got me thinking (we’ll get to that).

In the end I keep asking myself: Is there really only fiction behind the film? That’s when I started searching.

But first from the beginning:

This is what the movie is about

Annie (Mila Kunis) is a reporter for The Women’s Bible. The glossy magazine is not pious. The front pages control orgasms and sex toys – all written by Ani. This makes them a flight chief darling. But Annie doesn’t find her job really satisfactory. Prefer to work for The New York Times Magazine. But her boss promises her a future together in the famous newspaper. Her boss promises that she won’t have to wait long before she takes over the head of a well-known newspaper.

Her private life seems perfect. Al-Ani is about to marry her rich fiancé. But her seemingly perfect life begins to unravel when a man knocks on her door to give an interview for a true crime documentary.

Successful sexist columnist Annie, played by Mila Kunis.

Successful sexist columnist Annie, played by Mila Kunis.Photo: netflix

Because Ani has a dark past. She suffers multiple traumas. As a teenager, Annie was bullied and sexually assaulted by several boys in her high school, and a massacre at school.

food for thought

Above all, the drama deals with a topic that is often forgotten: the stigma of the role of the victim. It raises questions such as: What if a woman was subjected to sexual violence while she was drunk and couldn’t remember if she said no?

Food for thought considered by screenwriters?

The film number is based on the 2015 novel of the same name by American author Jessica Noll, which was written as a first-person novel.

Writer Jessica Knoll with her dog. instagram“/>

Writer Jessica Knoll with her dog. Photo: instagram

Fantasy or Roman key?

Artists often attempt to process their trauma through text, drawing, or singing. After Jessica Knoll’s first novel was published, many people wondered if her book was based on her own experiences.

The question remained unanswered for a long time.

I even asked a woman in a book lecture how she was able to present incidents of sexual violence so realistically. The knoll replied: “Something similar happened to Ani.”

Days later, she published her story. In 2016, I wrote specifically about her parallels with the fictional Ani in the feminist online newsletter Lenny Letter:

«Ani 28 in the book. I was 28 years old when I wrote the book. Like Annie, I grew up in the suburbs and went to a small private high school where I was (…) a bit weird.

As an adult, Ani writes about sex for The Women’s Magazine. For the first five years of my career I was an editor at Cosmopolitan.”

“I know I went to a party (…), flirted with my blind boy, drank more and kept me out of the waking world. I know I came on a bedroom floor with another boy’s head between my legs.

I know the pain is what woke me up next. That I was moaning, over and over, before I even opened my eyes. This time the boy I was joking with before was lying on top of me. I later realized I was bleeding. I know I was too young to understand. I thought I hurt myself.”

“I know I went to a clinic to get a pill the next morning. I know I was fifteen years old and longed for guidance and protection (…). The doctor, a woman, listened to me for hours as I described the events of the evening (…) When I asked her if what happened to me was rape, she told me she was not qualified to answer that question.”

“I ran into a boy about raping me. He said he couldn’t be called that. (…) Then I apologized to him.”

After that, she did not dare to talk about what had happened. Instead, she built castles in an atmosphere of an idyllic future.

“I know that once I was free, I was obsessed with reinventing myself (…). I was certain that with the right wardrobe, great work and a ring on my finger, I could break my stigma before the age of 28.”

At 31, she’s outdone herself, her novel has been translated into many languages ​​and has spent months on bestseller lists. And with her revelations – even before the big #MeToo movement – she brought the topic of sexual violence to the public’s attention.

She did not want to name her book the Roman Key because some of the plots in the book, such as the school massacre, were fictitious.

Knoll also talks about her past on social media today. She has been able to encourage many victims of sexual violence to break their silence, as I recently reported to The Times. This overcoming was the healing she had been struggling with for years.

Contact points for victims of sexual violence

Sexual abuse can occur in a variety of contexts. Assistance in cases of suspected or experienced sexual violence Presentation of the canton Victim Support Offices or the “Sexual violence counseling for women». For young people or adults who were sexually exploited in childhood, there is a situation «Castagna». Affected men can resort to this Men’s office in Zurich heart *turn* face.

The movie has been available on Netflix since October 7, 2022.

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