“Not Okay” (US Rated R)
Cast: Zoey Deutch, Mia Isaac, Dylan O’Brien, Nadia Alexander
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Where to watch: Hulu
The love of likes and followers and the burning need to be an internet celebrity is ruining the world!
That’s the basic theme of the new film “Not Okay”.
A wacky, dark comedy that slowly evolves into a cautionary tale about our current world, while weaving in some powerful statements about the violence of all kinds that is currently so prevalent, even on social media.
If that sounds like a major downer, just as you’re hoping to continue with the light and breezy and brainless movie fare in these dog days of summer, don’t worry, the transition is so gradual and almost subtle, that it never feels like a boat anchor (if you’re aiming to sail through the rest of the season without any stress.)
In the film, a misguided young woman who is desperate for friends and fame fakes a trip to Paris to update her social media presence. A terrifying incident takes place in the real world, which becomes a part of the imaginary trip and offers all she wants.
The lead character (a protagonist so warped that Hulu – that’s where to see the film, released just last Friday – has a warning before the picture that she could be a very divisive figure) is played by Zoey Deutch.
Daughter of actress Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future” and TV’s “Caroline in the City), you’ve probably only seen Deutch in small film roles and on television up to this point. But “Not Okay” could help to significantly up her profile. She gives a decent and credible performance, and proves she’s adroit at silly comedy and emotional drama. Young Mia Isaac also stands out amongst the rest of the pretty decent cast, as a survivor of a school shooting.
Yes, some of the subject matter deals with the pretty disturbing and heinous – but now commonplace – issues of our time. And some very poignant and accurate statements are made about the world today. Some toes will be stepped on, but they probably need to be.
And through it all, “Not Okay” remains interesting and maintains a decent balance as a dramedy – never completely going all the way to the wild comedic side, and never getting unbearably heavy.
While not exactly “must see entertainment”, “Not Okay” is certainly “worth seeing.” And probably more productive than scrolling through the web.
• Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of “Morning Blend” on Guardian Radio and station manager. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email email@example.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.