NOT OKAY (2022)

Written & Directed By: Quinn Shephard Cinematography: Robby Baumgarten

Editor: Mollie Goldstein

Cast: Zoey Deutch, Mia Issac, Dylan O’Brien, Nadia Alexander, Embeth Daviditz, Tia Dionne Hodge, Brennan Brown, Karan Soni, Dash Perry, Sarah Yarkin 

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.

The time is a satire and goes overboard to remind us throughout as there are few characters and more just representations. As we are warned the protagonist is unlikeable, but that goes for Most of the characters throughout. 

One of the everlasting conceits of satires is Caricatures and the works have cynicism throughout. Usually, you can understand why.

Here the cynicism is there but Also seems to make most of the characters.

The film takes the view that the main character is a privileged caucasian girl and just as it points out. The film mainly stays in that perspective as most of the other characters are the same.

The only time the film departs from those characters is to show the innocent victim who she befriends and is inspired by, as well as the girl’s family. Though before this we only get glimpses of any other characters of color who are more played as familiar stereotypes rather than anything. Resembling a real character or just going against type 

Once she realizes how hollow what she supposedly wanted the whole time fame is. Truly represented by a sexual encounter with her crush an influencer. Where the sex is disappointing and afterward doesn’t respond to her text she then finds true friendship in her therapy group which exposes her to real people and their pain and that is when she seems to try to change. 

Only to be called out or exposed by a co-worker not because it is the right thing to do, but mroe out of jealousy and the film posits the whistleblower as a kind of hood character because as she points out despite it all she at least never lied. Which is only true to her characters in a National sense and way. Not like she never did. As we see her do it earlier in the film. 

Unfortunately, that is how it feels throughout this film. the filmmakers As well as the characters all feel like they are preaching by not trying to come off as preachy. They also seem to believe they come off better from it. So that it feels like a film Made for and by the characters themselves 

It might have been more interesting if the film focused more on the fallout and repercussions. Even the mroe scary ones, like when she is confronted by an ex-soldier who gets physical with her. 

The ending works and probably is the better part of the film. As the second half of the film in general is better. Though that might be a case of having to suffer through the first half. To see why makes the second half so much more enriching.

The problem with the ending is that while the film reminds us that the protagonist is unlikeable, the one thing she actually does that is admirable is that she inspires the innocent character to use her voice and raise awareness. Which makes it ironic, Only after the selfish character stole her sayings and helped cast doubt on the truthfulness of the innocent story. 

What truly saves the film is the second half of the film. Which feels more on point and the

Performance of Zoey Deutch in the lead role. Not only is she believable but she is so energetic throughout. That while her character doesn’t have charm the actress does. Which makes the Audience pay attention and able to stand her character.

Grade: C-

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