Luck

Posted on August 4, 2022 at 5:52 pm

B +
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Profanity: None
Alcohol/ Drugs: None
Violence/ Scariness: Fantasy peril and slapstick
Diversity Issues: None
Date Released to Theaters: July 29, 2022

Copyright 2022 AppleTV+
Writer Carolyn See likes to say that what’s bad for you is good for you. That’s not necessarily because what is difficult or painful is often a good lesson in humility, resilience, or a path to a better outcome than you could have imagined, all of which is true, but because bad is where the good stories are. “Luck” is a vibrant animated Alice in Wonderland-style story about an 18-year old named Sam who follows a black cat to the lands of good and bad luck and learns neither is really what she thought.

Sam (sweet-voiced Eva Noblezada) has aged out of the orphanage where she has been her whole life. She feels unlucky in big ways — never having found a “forever family” and in small ways, toast falls jelly-side down, lose your keys down the grate annoyances. “You can come back Friday for visiting hours,” a not-unsympathetic staff member tells her. Sam is very close to a little girl named Hazel (Adelynn Spoon) and wants a forever family for her even more than she wants one for herself. Hazel has a box full of good luck charms, everything but a space left for a lucky penny.

“Will you be checking in on me weekly?” Sam asks as the social worker drops her at her new apartment. “Someone from the agency will check in with you next month. Otherwise you are on your own.”

Oversleeping, stuck bathroom door, and the toast falling jelly side down and a flat tire on her bicycle notwithstanding, Sam makes it to her new job on time. “Take that, universe!” Her first day on the job involves a lot of chaos but her kind-hearted boss, Marv, assigns her to shopping cart patrol. “You’ll have better luck tomorrow.”

Sam is determined too get some good luck for Hazel. So when the black cat she shares her panini with leaves a special penny behind, she grabs it. And it is lucky! The toast lands right side up and the first two socks she takes out of the drawer match! But she loses the penny. When she sees the cat again and learns that he can talk, she follows him through a portal down to the Land of Luck.

The story gets overly complicated and at times is more video game than story, but Sam’s endearing optimism and kindness and the beautifully imagined different environments and appealing characters keep it from getting bogged down.

Parents should know that this film concerns children without parents. There is some mild fantasy peril.

Family discussion: Is there a time you have felt lucky? Or unlucky? Why are people better at seeing their bad luck than their good luck? Was there a time when something you thought was bad luck turned out to be good for you?

if you like this, try: the Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers” and “Alice in Wonderland”

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