Movie Review: ‘Not Okay’ is Just That
Director: Quinn Shephard
Writer: Quinn Shephard
Stars: Zoey Deutch, Dylan O’Brien, and Mia Isaac
Synopsis: An ambitious young woman finds followers and fame when she poses as the survivor of a deadly attack, but she soon learns that online notoriety comes with a terrible price.
Every year we get these kinds of snarky satires and each time it’s a reminder of the miracle that is Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain. It’s a mystery as to how he pulled it off, but that film is pretty masterful as a ridiculous mockery that never sways from its tone and over-the-top style. Even as things get absurdly out of control, it leans into its excessive behavior and the result is wildly entertaining.
Not Okay has its heart in the right places, but it’s frustratingly uneven as a satire. Regardless of whether its humor works, and mostly it’s hit or miss, you can’t question its commitment to the parody it’s aiming for. Danni (played wonderfully by Zoey Deutch) works for a magazine called Depravity (no obvious commentary there) and she’s an aspiring writer despite the fact that she’s a photo editor. One of her co-workers Colin (Dylan O’Brien playing the thirst trap) is somewhat popular and she has her eye on him. In her attempts to capture his attention, and the world at large, she Photoshop’s a “work” trip to Paris to garner clout. However, a tragic bombing takes place in Paris and, to continue the lie, she despicably exploits trauma to render empathy from everyone around her. Throughout all of this, Not Okay is a clear mockery of clout chasing and the extreme lengths people go to for attention.