Most of this story is fictional. But the person behind the inspiration for this film is Laura Kucera. She was only 20 when her ex-boyfriend at the time, shot her three times and, left her in the wilderness. Here I’ll tell you more about the original event and what I thought of Only Mine on Netflix.
What’s it About?
The movie tells the story of Julie who you’ll recognize if you’ve seen 14 Cameras or Legion TV Series. It begins like any other with a chance meeting between Julie and David, a local police officer.
When warning signs begin to ring, Julie breaks it off with the young cop, but will he leave her alone?
How Was the Movie?
I’m not going to lie, this movie has enough crime tropes you’ll be left shaking your head. From idiotic cops, to see through alibis, you could probably start a drinking game counting up familiar plot devices used in movies like this. Somehow though, I found it entirely watchable.
It begins a little rushed but gets straight to the good stuff instead of drawing the story out. The detail of how this all came about sits somewhere between David being a stalker who randomly chose his victim and one who kind of dated her a little before becoming dangerous.
Julie and David meet when David, a small-town cop, pulls Julie over for speeding. He lets her off with a warning and you get the impression they like each other. As small towns in film often dictate, he ‘coincidentally’ drops into the diner where she works. Julie asks David out on a date, and pretty quickly soon after, David’s behavior becomes something to worry about.
I’m talking— one date = stalker town. It starts with him being in her house prior to her arrival home and, giving her a present that seems meaningful to him. Then, while babysitting for her best friend, Julie, well, babysits. She reads a book and doesn’t look at her phone, something most 20 somethings would never do. Much to Davids’s utter reprehension, he turns up almost beating the door down and requests kindly that he always knows where she is.
It doesn’t matter that the props used to allow David to get away with his behavior is flimsy at best. For example, the chief of the police station thinks of David as a son. The receptionist secretly crushes on him and is over eager to drop Julie in trouble to get her way. The story moves along at the pace of a freight train, pinning Julie under it. I’m certain anyone who’s been the victim of harassment will find something in common with parts of the storyline. I’m not saying its eloquent or great writing, but for some sick reason, I enjoyed it. Kind of like my secret habit of watching daytime soaps, the drama man, the drama is good.
The Real Julie Dillon, Based on Real Events
The real-life information used to propel this film is scant. Of all the information I could find of the original person, Laura Kucera, they were not boyfriend and girlfriend. The guys name is Brian and he got 55 years for attempted kidnapping and, use of a firearm to commit a felony. The judge told him he was a bully and a coward for shooting a 20-year-old 3 times. His last words reflected her as he did so are in the film;
“If I can’t have you nobody else will”
In the Only Mine, we see Julie left to die in the wilderness and that’s exactly what happened to Laura too. The difference in events lies in the ending. Julie uses her strength to avenge her stalker and kills him. In the real story, Laura is only found because Brian led the police to her. Somewhat similar to the way the detective followed David to the scene of the crime perhaps? In any case, both the fictional and real person layout in the cold for four days.
I loved the way the film was carried as almost a quasi-documentary follow up by an unseen camera person. The mini-interviews with characters in the movie was a nice touch that gave it that extra realism. This film is getting crushed on IMBd.com but still manages to hold an almost 5/10 rating at the time of writing. I guess not everyone is as forgiving of the finite details.
The thing is, in the real story it looks as though Brad knew Laura for even less time before stalking her and he wasn’t a cop. In hindsight, having David be a cop, makes the movie less believable in many ways. But impact wise in a film, it gives the story more bones to work with.
I still liked this one, and I liked the folklore element added by the mother in the film about internal strength. Even if the real-life person almost didn’t survive, she spent 55 days in the hospital and, lost most of the use of her arms and legs. She did learn to walk again with difficulty after a lot of rehabilitation. Overall, even with faults, I’m glad this was made.
I give Only Mine
3.5 ballerina music boxes out of 5
What Happened to the Real Laura?
Tragically, a year after this all happened, Laura had a car accident and died. She was 21 at the time and on her way to visit her grandmother.