The review of Not Okay, the film with Zoey Deutch that tells the consequences of popularity at all costs. There are no excuses, lies are unforgivable.
We are now accustomed to the irreverent cut of products Huluso we shouldn’t be surprised by the pedantic comedy and sudden drama of Not Okay. The Hulu film lands on Italian territory at the same time as the American release thanks to Disney+ in the appropriate section for adults of Star.
As usual with most products Hulu (not all because different land on Starzstreaming platform associated with Amazon Prime Videos) come to us via Disney+, Pam & Tommy And Fresh for example and now Not Okay, what Hulu’s live-action products have in common is the choice to set the narration with apparently comic tones, leaving the drama only for the final parts. Comedy is what covers the Hulu product, the drama hides behind the appearance of a superficial film and when it arrives it hits hard.
Not Okay fully reflects the consolidated canons of Hulu. The film directed and written by Quinn Shepherd (Blame) tells the story of Danni (Zoey Deutch) young photo editor with the ambition of becoming a writer. Danni constantly proposes pieces to the editor-in-chief of the magazine for which she works, but unfortunately she is not yet clear how to best develop her arguments and for this reason her proposals are repeatedly canceled. Danni spends her time on social media, she is literally obsessed with the social image that people might have of her. She wishes to be recognized, she would like to become popular and loved by the masses, she would also be happy to be noticed and appreciated by Colin (Dylan O’Brien), a famous influencer who collaborates with the same editorial team as Danni. When the opportunity suddenly presents itself, she fakes a trip to Paris in order to attract the attention of the boy for whom she feels a deep attraction. Damage does not exist for an instant. He lies, pretends and builds his fake trip to Paris complete with photos edited with Photoshop, leaving all traces on social media.
Too bad that mentions it backfires when multiple attacks erupt in the exact moment in which she pretends to be under the triumphal arch of Paris in the real French city. The most logical solution would have been to reveal her lie to all those who were worrying about her, instead Danni chooses to continue the charade given the much attention she was receiving.
Being loved at any cost, no matter the consequences. This is Danni’s goal. When the veil of lies is removed will it be worth it? Or does the moment of popularity trump any repercussion?
Not Okay in just one hour and 40 minutes, I emphasize this because it is now a rarity, it will make you laugh, reflect and move. If you are ready to dive into the rainbow of emotions of Not Okay the film well marked in 9 parts, as if they were the chapters of a diary, awaits you on Disney +.
The social criticism of Not Okay, being popular at any cost
As I pointed out at the beginning of the review of Not Okay, Hulu has the distinctive trait of making each of its products unique in terms of tones and texture choices. The comedy is the first thing you notice but the drama is always present, even if hidden behind veils of coarse and irreverent jokes.
Not Okay is no exception.
The film was presented and promoted as a comedy ready to joke about the consequences of wanting to be famous on social media at any cost. Popularity on social media as the only source of happiness, of social reward for the love you think you are spreading and therefore want to receive in return. The lies that make fame possible are initially seen by the protagonist as the necessary and indispensable stepping stone. Danni doesn’t think about the repercussions that such lies can have on others. In particular, the protagonist does not imagine the consequences that lying about being a survivor of a terrorist attack has on the real victims.
If indeed Not Okay plays on the concept of fame and on the fiction of social media, in reality he repeatedly stops to criticize American society and politics. Thanks to Rowan’s character (Mia Isaac) the film introduces the theme of freely accessible weapons and school bombings. Not Okay criticizes, albeit with tones pertinent to the film in question, the gun policy in the United States considering it the main source of mass shootings. Little Rowan became a notorious activist in New York for surviving a shooting at her school. Now you are fighting to obtain greater security and reduce the violence generated by firearms, you try to raise awareness among citizens through social media campaigns and demonstrations in the square which unfortunately are often a point of interest for your detractors.
Not Okay deals with post-traumatic stress trauma expertly, both through the presentation and sessions of a support group for survivors of attacks and through the introduction of panic attacks. Thanks to the character of Rowan first and then Danni Not Okay shows all phases of PTSD: denial, acceptance, asking for help and the path to overcoming the trauma.
The film does not limit itself to proposing the themes just exposed but chooses to make the reason why Danni sets in motion his wheel of lies understandable to everyone. Basically the protagonist is alone. She has no friends or family who are ready to show her affection, her relatives and her acquaintances only notice her when her life was in danger. All the mentions that Danni has concocted had the very purpose of receiving the love and care that she craved so much, being popular was part of her package.
Zoey Deutch: an actress too little considered?
The protagonist of Not Okay is played by Zoey Deutchan actress who has held roles in several romantic comedies but who perhaps you all know for the part of Infinity in the Netflix series The Politician.
As much as Deutch has been working in recent years, perhaps it has not yet received the notoriety it deserves. The interpreter of Zombieland – Double hit And How to make the boss lose his mind he is able to switch between beginning roles and dramatic nuances without the slightest hesitation. She has taken part in mainly commercial films and is still waiting for the role that can change her career. Who knows if the upcoming films will be able to expand Deutch’s audience.
Among the upcoming works of Zoey Deutch figure Something from Tiffany’sromantic comedy that sees her joined by Ray Nicholson (Panic). The film follows a young woman whose life is turned upside down when an engagement ring meant for someone else leads her to the person she’s meant to be with. The film has already been shot and is in the editing stage. Different, however, are the fates of Most Dangerous Game And hounds, both in pre-production stage. The first sees Deutch once again at the side of Glen Powell in a new romantic comedy, the second one is still shrouded in mystery.
If Zoey Deutch has not yet taken flight among the Hollywood that counts, the same can also be said for Dylan O’Brienactor beloved by the public for the role of Stiles in the fantasy drama series Teen Wolf and for the part of Thomas in Maze Runner.
Unfortunately O’Brien’s career has always remained anchored in low profile films. After the trilogy of Maze Runner the actor has taken part in several films, almost all of them failures both for critics and for the box office response, for example: Infinite And Flashback. Instead, Netflix’s survival movie was appreciated Love and monsters, a pity that there has been no more talk of sequel films or spin-offs. Dylan O’Brien has been rumored for some time in the guise of a young Robin alongside Robert Pattinson in the upcoming films of The Batman. Still nothing is official. If the rumor were to be confirmed and materialize in an announcement by DC, this would be O’Brien’s first major role in a franchise. We just have to wait.
Surely what we can see today is that his presence, much talked about and promoted, in Not Okay it’s important to the events of the story but very marginal on screen. The actor has a very small role however interesting and unusual for the actor’s career. Usually to the actor of Teen Wolf are entrusted with roles as a good and diligent boy, instead in Not Okay it’s the bad boy who leaves trails of girls behind. Too bad that his character has been used so much to promote the film and little in the script of the same.
Review by Chiara Giovannini
If you appreciate Hulu films, the comic cut that however hides the drama and social criticism typical of the products of the streaming platform, you will also love Not Okay.
- social criticism and many politically important issues in the United States
- Fun and with a great pace
- Zoey Deutch is perfect in the role
- Dylan O’Brien has few stations, much promoted in the marketing phase but little used in the film script
- Not terribly innovative
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