Review: Not Okay
Admiring the film’s influencer culture commentary, Lisette Reed commends Shepherd’s direction whilst praising Mia Isaac’s standout performance
Although many films attempt to present Gen Z’s intense social media consumption and the urge to be popular, no other movie portrays the toxic influencer lifestyle as successfully as Not Okay. Shephard’s work demonstrates the intensity and deadliness of online popularity, spreading a satirical light over the “chronically online” community and their tone-deaf nature towards people with real-life trauma.
The film follows Danni, a young woman obsessed with popularity and becoming an influential writer, played by Zoey Deutch. Desperate to expand her social media presence, she decides to fake a trip to Paris through the magic of Photoshop. However, a terrorist attack takes place at her residence, leaving her able to pursue her wishes to be internet famous as she pretends to be a survivor of the incident.
Shephard’s work demonstrates the intensity and deadliness of online popularity, spreading a satirical light over the “chronically online” community
When reading reviews of the movie, I was anxious to watch it as it felt like a marmite film. Many praised it for speaking out about the trauma-claiming nature of the online generation and how many people want to experience something so that they can have their five minutes of fame. Others disliked it for its cringe-worthy nature and references. Though there are many moments where you will experience second-hand embarrassment, I believe they intentionally present the squirming feeling you get when someone makes an online reference in real life—showing how cringy the internet and its trends can be.
In addition, the attention to detail is spot on regarding Danni’s quirks and characteristics. From her two blonde hair strips to her chunky, colourful rings and nails, and even her phone charm, the film’s costume and makeup department did not disappoint. This accuracy also appears in Colin: a Pete Davidson-like influencer who works with our protagonist. With his only personality traits being smoking weed and vaping, Colin represents the Machine Gun Kellys of social media.
The best performance has to be from Mia Isaac with her incredible portrayal of Rowan – she is the future of Hollywood
However, overall, the best performance has to be from Mia Isaac with her incredible portrayal of Rowan. Every time she stepped on screen and performed Rowan’s powerful speeches, I had literal goosebumps, sometimes on the verge of tears. Unlike Danni and Colin, who represent these fabricated prototypes of an influencer, Rowan’s complete sincerity in her actions makes her an authentic influencer and not a “like, subscribe and comment” way. Mia Isaac’s performance was everything; she is the future of Hollywood acting.