Not Okay (2022) Film Review: A Gripping Tale on Hulu

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Review of “Not Okay”: A Chaotic and Fun Ride

In the vast sea of films that mock or ridicule their own generation, “Not Okay” manages to stand out with its witty script and the captivating performance of Zoey Deutch. While some of its provocative ideas may not land perfectly, the film successfully blends dark comedy and satire to provide an engaging and entertaining experience.

The Rise of Generation Mockery in Films

Over the years, there has been a proliferation of films that ridicule the modern generation’s addiction to social media platforms. These movies come in various genres and often present exciting ideas. However, many of these films fall short due to their unlikable characters and ridiculous narratives, making it difficult for the audience to connect.

However, there have been some exceptions, such as Halina Rejin’s “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” which successfully blended horror and dark comedy to satirize privileged youth. “Not Okay,” directed by Quinn Shephard, can be added to this list of exceptions. While it doesn’t fully develop its ideas, Shephard’s script and Deutch’s impeccable performance take the audience on a chaotic ride filled with profound lies, bad decisions, and a craving for fame.

The Storyline and Satirical Underpinnings

“Not Okay” centers around Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch), an attention-starved photo editor and aspiring writer for the magazine “Depravity.” Feeling lonely and unnoticed, Danni concocts a plan to gain recognition by pretending to go on a writing retreat in Paris. She posts photoshopped pictures on Instagram, leading people to believe she is in the City of Love. However, when Paris is struck by a series of bombings, Danni seizes the opportunity to create a web of lies, presenting herself as a survivor marked by trauma.

Throughout the film, “Not Okay” delves into the hunger for fame and the use of victimhood to achieve it. The story is divided into several parts, each elaborating on different aspects of Danni’s mischievous rise to fame and her subsequent downfall. The film serves as a cautionary tale, reminding us to be careful what we wish for.

Blending Satire and Humanity

While some films in this genre can be overwhelmingly syrupy with modern dialogue, “Not Okay” strikes a balance by staying grounded. It explores the polar opposites of Danni and Rowan (Mia Isaac), a student-poet and prominent protester against gun violence. Both characters have a significant following on social media, but their motivations and personas differ vastly. Danni represents the gimmicky nature of influencer culture, while Rowan is a powerful force for change.

The film allows for humanistic scenes between the two characters, providing sincere moments of reflection on trauma and the facade people present to the world. The casting is another strong aspect of the film, with Zoey Deutch delivering a standout performance. She skillfully portrays Danni, alternating between a narcissistic demeanor and moments of clarity. Deutch’s ability to convey a range of emotions while maintaining a poker face is commendable.

Mia Isaac also shines in her role as Rowan, bringing depth and compassion to the character through her acting skills. The chemistry between Deutch and Isaac adds an extra layer of complexity to the narrative, as their relationship is built on lies and manipulation. As the story unfolds, Danni’s actions begin to take a toll on her, leading to a heartbreaking realization.

An Enjoyable Film with Meaningful Social Commentary

“Not Okay” manages to be surprisingly enjoyable, offering a mixture of humor and thought-provoking scenes. While it may not thoroughly explore the consequences of Danni’s actions, the film serves as a character study that highlights the generation’s obsession with fame and trends. It strikes a balanced tone, avoiding excessive satire or melodrama.

Quinn Shephard’s direction and the talents of Deutch and the rest of the cast elevate “Not Okay” beyond its initial expectations. Despite its flaws in the latter half, the film provides an engaging and funny experience that will leave viewers pondering the nature of fame and the importance of authenticity.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is “Not Okay” based on a true story?

No, “Not Okay” is a fictional film that uses satire and comedy to explore themes of fame and social media addiction.

2. What is the significance of the title “Not Okay”?

The title “Not Okay” reflects the main character’s desperate desire for attention and validation. It symbolizes the facade she creates to present herself as a victim and the consequences that arise from her actions.

3. How does Zoey Deutch’s performance stand out in “Not Okay”?

Zoey Deutch delivers a standout performance as Danni, skillfully portraying the character’s complex emotions and internal struggles. Her comedic timing and ability to switch between different personas make her portrayal memorable.

4. Does “Not Okay” offer any commentary on modern society?

Yes, “Not Okay” uses satire and social commentary to highlight society’s obsession with fame and the impact of social media on individuals’ lives. It delves into themes of authenticity, the consequences of lies, and the pressure to present a glamorous online persona.

5. How does “Not Okay” balance humor and meaningful moments?

“Not Okay” strikes a balance between humor and more poignant scenes by exploring the humanity behind the satire. It delves into the characters’ inner struggles and approaches the topic of fame with a critical yet compassionate lens.


“Not Okay” manages to entertain and provoke thought through its witty script, strong performances, and well-executed social commentary. While it may not delve deeply into the consequences of its characters’ actions, it effectively satirizes the obsession with fame and the façade of the online world. With its engaging storyline and thoughtful moments, “Not Okay” is a film worth watching for those seeking a chaotic and fun ride that prompts introspection.