Not Okay is a movie marketed as a dark comedy but is really a movie that transforms suddenly into a serious drama with not a single character you give a shit about. That’s not okay.
The lovable Zoey Deutch is back at it playing a questionable character of questionable morals in a questionable indie that is unquestionably being released direct to Hulu, because who exactly is this movie made for? It has some things to say and it says them loudly, but I just didn’t care. That’s not okay.
Deutch is great, and continues to be an underappreciated talent who is perfectly cast for the role of Danni Sanders, a wannabe journalist with no friends who says fuck it one day and pretends to be on a trip in Paris, and then pretends that she was in Paris when terrorists attacked the city. She’s unlikable but in a likable “thank God she isn’t my friend” kind of way, until writer/director Quinn Shephard pulls the rug out from under her and switches up his story’s genre entirely. That’s not okay.
Well, actually, it is okay in some ways. Deutch handles the bait-and-switch superbly and navigates the emotional transformation well. The problem is you just want to punch her character in the face, so when shit hits the fan (i.e. people figure out she’s a lying scumbag) there is no possible way you’re going to feel an ounce of pity for this girl no matter how many tears Deutch sheds. That can work in a comedy. It doesn’t work so easily, and certainly doesn’t work in Not Okay, for dramas. That’s not okay.
Even early on, though, Not Okay doesn’t land particularly well. You can tell Deutch is trying to carry everything on her shoulders, but the wit and dark charm simply is lacking in the material. There are some amusing bits but this is very much a direct-to-Hulu title for a reason.
And that’s not okay.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.