In the sophomore feature from ‘Blame’ filmmaker Quinn Shephard, Zoey Deutch stars as a wannabe writer whose fake travel posts backfire on her.
Danni Sanders, the transparently needy protagonist of Not Okay, has goals, but no real grasp of the work they require. They’re more like impatient expectations set to the warp-speed time frame of texting.
Her burning aspiration is to be a writer — i.e., someone who’s famous and has lots of followers — a goal that turns into a reality as the result of a bit of attention-hungry social media fakery that she compounds with heinous lies.
But as awful as she is, she’s also sweet; without pushing it or insisting that we like her, Zoey Deutch, an actor with considerable comic chops and charisma, finds the vulnerability beneath Danni’s bluster.
And so even though we know, in the movie’s opening moments, that she’s headed for a fall, the film percolates with the dread that this will be the redemption story of someone who could be the poster child for white privilege and Generation Z self-absorption.
It’s a friction that writer-director Quinn Shephard addresses with tongue-in-cheek bluntness in the feature’s final stretch, via an onscreen title and her own cameo. Whether she redeems her main character is open to interpretation,