A 2011 limited-release Road Trip film based on the novel, directed by Derick Martini and starring Chloe Grace Moretz, in a role that evokes some of the Troubling Unchildlike Behavior from her other big movies, taken Up to Eleven.Luli (Moretz) is 13 years old, from the middle of Nebraska, daughter of two alcoholic parents and way too influenced by Western pop culture. She always tells Blatant Lies to make her miserable home life seem not so bad. When her parents seem to abandon her one day, she chances upon a commercial on the TV for Las Vegas, and she decides straight away to escape, eventually falling in with the worst kind of people...
Provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Luli's got 'em, and they just leave her alone one day, inspiring her escape.
- Adult Fear: IN SPADES. Little girl, first experience with drugs, kidnapped by a crazy pervert...
- Ax-Crazy: From the start, we can tell that Eddie's a little off, but then he decides that he and Luli are somehow star-crossed lovers, ties her to a bed and most likely rapes her.
- Bare Your Midriff: Initially.
- Bittersweet Ending: Luli's dad's just gone and her Mom's sold their land to a developer, she's witnessed two murders and caused another, and she is totally disillusioned about her life. But Beau, the 'cleaner', offers Luli a place to stay in Los Angeles, where she can hopefully start her young life over.
- Chained to a Bed: Eventually Eddie snaps and decides Luli is his soulmate, imprisoning her like this. Maybe other things happened too...
- Chekhov's Gun: A literal example.
- Crucified Hero Shot: after Luli is rapednote offscreen by Eddie the next scene cuts to her tied to a bed in a crucifixion pose, waiting to be raped again: metaphorically crucified for the sin of man. She is tied to the bed quite differently in the book, so the change must be a deliberate visual metaphor.
- The Danza: Eddie Redmayne as Eddie
- Dawson Casting: By only a year or two, chillingly.
- Fille Fatale: Luli, blatantly. Despite being only 13, she spends a majority of the film in tiny, revealing outfits that seem to have been designed by pedophiles for pedophiles. She has no qualms about walking around in her underwear in front of strangers, routinely asks strange men if they think she's pretty and if they want to kiss her, etc. all in attempts to manipulate them into doing what she wants. Practically any scene she shares with a male character is incredibly uncomfortable to watch.
- Heroic BSOD: Luli, after Eddie shoots Glenda, and Luli shoots Eddie.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face (more like IJustShotGlendaInTheChest: He claims it to be this, but by this point Eddie's a pretty Unreliable Narrator.
- Jail Bait: Luli, again. To disturbing levels. Basically, we have a character who spends the entire movie oozing sexuality, from her sultry demeanor, her propensity to dress like a backwoods hooker to her shameless manipulation of men much older than she. If she was in her twenties, it would be sexy on a Sharon-Stone-in-Basic Instinct level. But she's 13 and doesn't look any older. To say it makes your skin crawl is an understatement. (It might not help that Chloe Moretz's mother is one of the producers.)
- Nice Guy: Clement, the boy Luli meets at the motel, and Beau, who wants to send Luli to live with his sister to get her as far away from the mess she was in as possible.
- Playing Against Type: No one will ever get Blake Lively's character of coke-snorting con-woman Glenda confused with Serena van der Woodsen in a million years.
- Red Right Hand: Eddie's limp.
- Traumatic Haircut: After being chased and possibly raped by Eddie, she wakes up to find her hair chopped short and dyed black.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Might as well be The Movie of this trope.
- Unreliable Narrator: Eddie tells Luli that Glenda gave him a grand to take Luli off her hands. Glenda shows up after a few days after Eddie has taken her hostage, telling her that he lied.
- The Woobie: Luli. All the horrible things she goes through in this movie, and she's only thirteen.