Is Emily the Criminal a true story? Its real life ties

Emily the Criminal

Aubrey Plaza stars as the protagonist Emily Benetto in Netflix’s Emily the Criminal. In the film, Emily graduates from college with $70,000 in student loans. A felony conviction prevents her from obtaining well-paying employment, so she joins a credit card fraud ring. 

Despite several hiccups, Emily finds she’s good at crime and enjoys scamming people. Unfortunately, as is common in the criminal world, things go awry, forcing Emily to leave her mentor and love interest with his money. Emily settles in South America, where she rekindles her interest in art and sets up her own credit card fraud ring. 

Emily the Criminal is loosely based on the real-life experiences of director John Patton Ford

Director John Patton Ford incorporated some of his real-life experiences in Emily the Criminal. Like Emily, Ford graduated from college with massive student debt. 

“I went to grad school and got into a tremendous amount of debt,” Ford told ScreenSlam. “I felt a lot of anxiety afterward, not being able to find very good work and the cost of living being so expensive.”

Student debts are a huge problem in the United States, with many graduates struggling to repay their loans. 

Emily the Criminal also highlights other issues affecting US society, including the difficulties convicted felons face in finding employment. The film also highlights discriminative employer practices like classifying workers as ‘independent contractors’ to avoid paying benefits or providing insurance.