I feel like a lot of movies would benefit from having a disclaimer at the beginning that says something like “warning: the protagonist of this movie is extremely unlikable”. It really came in handy for this one because the main protagonist was so so so infuriating. Not Okay is a satirical comedy about a woman taking advantage of social media to pretend she was a survivor of a terrorist attack, effectively gaining internet popularity in the process. The film is currently streaming on Disney+ Canada and stars Zoey Deutch, Dylan O’brien, and Mia Isaac, but be warned, Deutch and O’brien play absolutely awful characters. So if you’re a fan, you’re probably not going to like them in this one.

Danni staring at the camera at the beginning of the film.

In an age where influencers have total reign over the internet, I found it deeply disturbing how relevant this story was. As someone who has zero interest in becoming an internet sensation, it was hard to put myself in Danni’s (Deutch’s character) shoes. Completely brush aside all your morals and beliefs just to impress some boy who’s actually a jerk? Can’t relate. But that was definitely one of the moments that angered me the most – the fact that Danni almost caved and told the truth in the beginning, but she immediately changed course and continued to lie after *finally* being noticed by Colin (O’Brien’s character). At first the whole premise seemed exaggerated, but then it dawned on me. Wait, Danni’s story’s story is actually…really plausible? Social media and the internet have such a substantial role in our daily lives so the idea of some random girl faking her way to fame is pretty realistic in all honesty.

Danni at an influencer party.

The movie’s commentary on our need to feel included and relevant (essentially internet famous) was pretty well done; I was impressed by the writers’ commitment in making almost every single character so annoying. While Danni mostly just basked in the glory of her successful lies, it gave me some relief to see that she did somewhat feel guilt. I also liked how they represented her growing guilty consciousness through repeated hallucinations of the bomber. Is my faith in humanity restored though? Not really.

For what it’s worth, Deutch totally nailed the obnoxious personality of Danni. She put on a great performance as someone completely tone deaf and ignorant. Sometimes characters become redeemable at some point in the movie, but not her. Even at the end when everyone is hating on her, I felt zero sympathy. It was smart of the writers to keep her so unlikable till the very end because it made their message all the more effective. If you’re wondering what I thought about O’Brien’s performance, well he played an idiot so there’s not much to talk about there. It’s kind of self explanatory – he did well portraying a jerk though.

Danni and Rowen speaking at an anti-gun protest.

On the other hand, playing the role of a social activist fighting for gun control, Isaac nailed her role as Rowan. Rowan was probably the only saving grace of a character in this movie. Isaac was able to portray her down-to-earth, friendly personality while also evoking really strong emotions of fear and anger that made her trauma seem believable. I also couldn’t not take this moment to compliment how perfectly she delivered her spoken poetry scenes. As an English major, I had to put some respect on that.

One creative decision that I really liked in Not Okay was how they showed the outcome of Danni’s actions right in the beginning. The audience gets to know right away that her plan will fail and that she will become an outcast. I personally liked seeing this final outcome first because it was like the writers were telling me justice would be eventually served. I felt satisfied knowing Danni wasn’t going to get away with it. This especially helped during awfully insensitive scenes where she showed no regard for actual victims.

Danni taking fake photos of herself in Paris.

When I finally finished this movie, I had to keep reminding myself that the movie itself wasn’t actually bad, I just hated 75% of the characters – but of course, this was done purposely by the writers. I will admit I had a pretty difficult time coming up with my final score because of this though. Considering the relevance of the themes and its commentary on social behaviours, I would definitely recommend people see this movie. It’s the kind of movie that makes you think about what you watched and this one will certainly make you take a hard look at yourself when its over. Setting aside my dislike for the characters, my final rating for Not Okay is 7/10. While the story was overall pretty well written and the actors did a convincing job, the movie itself can feel a little dull at times. I found it really hard to watch in one go because of the content in this movie, so if you need to take a breather, don’t worry because I did too. The topics being discussed can be hard to stomach so honestly, take your time watching this one.

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