Not Okay (Digital)

An ambitious young woman finds followers and fame when she poses as the survivor of a deadly attack, but she soon learns that online notoriety comes with a terrible price.

August 9, 2022 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

“Opinions are like assholes, because everyone has one.”

I can’t remember where I heard that, but it’s an accurate way to describe social media. If, for some reason, you’re reading this and don’t have a social media account and don’t feel the need to scan Twitter or Facebook every day – don’t do it. Really. I mean it. It’s awful. I’ve seen arguments on Facebook dealing with the way a roll of toilet paper should be placed (up or down). You’d be surprised how many people have strong opinions on that matter. With social media, you give everyone with a computer (or phone or tablet) a voice. And isn’t it odd that every single person is always correct in what they say? Amazing. And the internet has created a new type of “celebrity” with verified accounts. Ever wondered what that little blue check mark on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is? It means you’re somebody! Yeah, so now we’ve all got something to strive for, don’t we? What might seem innocuous to some others like Danni (Zoey Deutch) it means the world. And some will do anything to achieve “internet fame.”

Danni (Zoey Deutch) is a photo editor at a trendy New York magazine. She aspires to be a writer, but none of her ideas really impress her co-workers or boss at her job. She yearns to get the attention of Colin (Dylan O’Brien), an influential co-worker with some major social media cache. To maker her life seem a bit more exciting, she fakes a trip to Paris. She photoshops stylish pictures giving the impression that she’s having the time of her life. But a series of terrorist bombings take place in the city, leaving many innocent dead. Danni now has to pretend to “barely escape” these attacks and luckily makes it home. This garners her attention at work and from social media. With her newfound “stardom”, Danni compounds the lie by writing an article with information gathered from a support group. There she meets Rowan (Mia Isaac), someone who actually has survived a school shooting and now uses her clout as an activist. Danni’s newfound fame and stardom comes crashing down when her big lie is eventually discovered.

Narcissism isn’t a good thing. So if you’re walking in the mall and see teenagers making “duck lips” while taking pictures of themselves for their Instagram accounts – it’s not a good thing. Technology is great and it’s given nearly all of us an outlet to express ourselves. But there’s a line that most of us won’t cross to achieve stardom. Danni does and, unfortunately, it’s not a work of fiction. Steve Rannazzisi, star of The League, claimed he was in 9/11 and it was found out years later that it was a lie. This is just one instance of life imitating art. We all lie. It’s human nature. But the events depicted in this film are so spot on that it’s infuriating the lengths that people go to for “likes.” There are many people like Danni out there and I don’t see this improving anytime soon. Not Okay satirizes our current, media obsessed pop culture and hits the nail squarely on the head.

Video: How’s it look?

Visually Not Okay looks flat out amazing. The 1.85:1 image gives us just enough of New York City (and parts of “Paris), but it also has some extreme closeups that show massive amounts of detail. The opening sequence shows our star as she’s reading through internet posts crying her eyes out. This is a surprisingly colorful film, too. There are some scenes at a nightclub that give off some neon vibes, though the overall darkness of this scene doesn’t have any issues. Some of the outdoor scenes are bright and sunny and Danni’s ever-changing wardrobe is colorful as well. This is on par with any other steaming film I’ve seen and it more than gets the job done.

Audio: How’s it sound?

I don’t watch a lot of things on Hulu other than old episodes of Family Guy. That said, I checked the “tech specs” on Hulu’s help page and it tells me that their 5.1 content is either Dolby Digital Plus or PCM. Honestly, either way you go (or however you’ve got your setup) it isn’t a bad choice. The film isn’t really geared towards a home theater type audience and with that said, vocals are strong and sharp. There aren’t a whole lot of surround effects to speak of, though I caught a few instances here and there. It seems to be a nice-sounding mix that simply does its job. No complaints.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Theatrical Trailer

The Bottom Line

Not Okay would be easy to dismiss if it were purely a work of fiction. But, as we all know, it isn’t. It’s a pointed satire and a sign of our times which shows the lengths that some people will go to for attention. I’m sure at some time in the future this will get a stand alone disc release perhaps with some extras. But for the time being, the only way to watch it is online.

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