Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch) asks "Hello" when she first saw her 9/11 FOMO (her family was too busy on a cruise to truly experience the consequences of the tragedy) or if she wants herself invited to queer events, even if you don't identify as such. Danni is too accustomed to her every action as an awkward person awkwardly trying to be unpleasant.
Not Okay is also trying very hard to be a dark comedy that can enthuse the audience, or attempting to portray a brand critique of social media and clout chasers that should be obvious to anyone that lives in the real world. At times, Shephards film can also feel like that.
Danni is a photo editor for a website called Depravity, and wants to be an influencer and writer (her essay Why Am I So Sad? somehow didn't get approved by her employer) and the affections of Colin (Dylan OBrien), a Pete Davidson-type influencer who always has a blunt ready to go.
Danni announces that she will be attending a writers retreat in Paris in a moment of panic. Instead of admitting her mistake to a guy who cant even remember her name, Danni decides to create a fake reality on social media, pretending she's in Paris, complete with taking pictures of herself in a beret and overusing the baguette emoji. Rowan, who survived a school shooting, becomes a lifelong friend to Danni.
The problem with Not Okay isnt that Danni is unlikable, which is understandable. The issue is that Danni isnt funny or interesting in any way, regardless of how dedicated Deutch is to this role. The first half is almost cartoonish in the way it depicts social media and Danni, yet it seems to think that its criticisms of the social media-obsessed world are prescient and original, and that this black comedy has bite.
As Danni begins to realize how lonely she was as she attempted to achieve superstardom, Not Okay's critique and characterizations gain traction. The screenplay also makes a few good points about how people should focus on others' efforts to make the world a better place when they only get a portion of the attention?
Deutch does a fine job with what she gets, and she really shines as Danni once we see her blossoming friendship with Rowan. Isaac is also a solid performer, and she is proving to be a great young actress to watch this year. Despite her first appearance, Colin is hardly a sight gag.
Not Okay, unfortunately, isn't a film that can satirize the current environment in the social media age. Some of Danni's ideas may be groundbreaking, but to an audience that lives in the real world, Not Okay is mostly common sense.
Not Okay is now streaming on Hulu.