“Not Okay” is the latest Searchlight Pictures film to be released exclusively on Disney’s streaming services around the world and follows Danni Sanders, played by Zoey Deutch, who is an aimless aspiring writer with no friends, no romantic prospects and — possibly worst of all — she has no followers. She’s completely unaware of the issues of people surrounding her, but is also depressed since her life isn’t what she wanted it to be.
This leads her down a dark path, where she fakes an Instagram-friendly trip to Paris in the hopes of boosting her social media clout and to ultimately just impress a boy, Colin, who Dylan O’Brien plays. But when a terrifying terrorist incident strikes the City of Lights, this sets off a string of events as Danni falls into a lie bigger than she ever imagined. As she quickly becomes an online “hero”, and the followers soon start to amount.
From here, she strikes up an unlikely friendship with Rowan, played by Mia Isaac, who is a real trauma survivor dedicated to societal change, which helps set Zoey on the right path, as the two bond over a “shared” experience.
Becoming an influencer gives her the life and audience she always wanted, however, when the truth comes out, she learns the hard way that the Internet loves a takedown, because those followers aren’t really your friends. It’s just a number.
“Not Okay” is an interesting film in how it tackles the issues of becoming an influencer. It sheds light on the appeal of becoming internet famous and how the idea that having more followers, means your life is better, because you might be given some free swag, go to some funky events and seem successful. But in reality, much like in the movie, all is not as it seems. Especially, since there is always someone out there that wants to take someone down, usually because they feel that same desire to be successful and, usually, just out of jealously, to have what they want. This film does capture that desire to be successful online and how some people will say and do anything to do so.
While “Not Okay” is an interesting idea and has some good moments, overall, I did find it a little dull in places. The story could have easily been trimmed down to be a little shorter. While the film is listed as a comedy, I personally only laughed a couple of times, as it’s more of a dark comedy, where you cringe at some of the things Danni does, because you just know it’s going to come back to bite her in the butt later.
For a direct-to-streaming film, “Not Okay”, is an easy watch and does highlight some of the issues with social media. But it has some problems, which includes having a main character that the viewer dislikes for the majority of the film. I do think it’s a good story for younger audiences to watch, to see the impact lying online can have on your life, how going viral online might not be the best thing, and, more importantly, that becoming a well-known internet sensation, might not always be a good thing.
Rating – 3 Out Of 5.
“Not Okay” is available to stream now on Hulu in the US, on Star+ in Latin America and on Disney+ around the world.