‘Not Okay’ – Fake Emily in Paris and how to become an influencer by faking trauma


How far can you go to catch your crush’s attention? Would changing your hairstyle or going to the gym be enough? Well, you need to step up your game because Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch), the main character of ‘Not Okay,’ has not only faked going to Paris for a writers’ retreat but also surviving a terrorist attack. So how far is too far?

‘Not Okay’ features a young woman who aspires to be a writer. Yeah, I know, nothing new. How many times have we seen this kind of personality in movies for young adults? Anyway, her aspiration and a massive crush on Colin (Dylan O’Brien) make her come up with a lie as if she was invited to a writers’ retreat in Paris. So she takes a few days off from work and starts the show.

From now on, we can start calling her ‘fake Emily in Paris.‘ Her Instagram account is full of photoshopped pictures of her in Paris. Everything could work out perfectly for her if someone didn’t perform the terrorist attack in the place she was supposed to be. Until this part, the movie was completely fine. It seemed like a funny comedy that was not supposed to be a grand cinema but something easy to watch when you want to chill out.

Instead of telling the truth, Danni decides to go further with her story. And that, my dear readers, makes her a famous influencer. Eureka, Colin finally starts paying attention to her and even invites her to a party for influencers.

And that’s when the sex scene from the trailer happens. I saw a few posts on the internet comparing it to the ’50 Shades of Grey.’ I don’t know who said that, but I’m not sure they have seen Grey. I couldn’t stop laughing when Colin asked: ‘Who’s my little damaged girl?’ Like, what? I don’t judge people on their fantasies, I have many of my own, but if someone called me his little, damaged girl, I’d start laughing, even if it was someone as cool as Dylan O’Brien. And, excuse me, but have you ever seen a scene in Grey when he finished in one minute? Exactly.

The movie takes up a lot of many important issues like terrorism and gun violence. Danni goes to a support group to find out how people feel after such trauma and meets Rowan (Mia Isaac), a survivor of a school shooting. She befriends her, and even after hearing of her trauma, she not only goes further with her lies but also uses Rowan for her own goals.

I hate that such important issues are taken so lightly in this movie. And I know it was supposed to be a satire, but it wasn’t even funny. I was bored watching the film and couldn’t wait to finish it. Unfortunately, the end leaves much to be desired. There is no redemption arc, THANK GOD, but still, I wish to know more about what exactly happens to Danni after all of this.

But when we think of it a little bit deeper, ‘NOT OKAY’ shows a different important issue: loneliness and social exclusion. I wonder if Danni actually had friends and wasn’t portrayed as the weird one at the office, would she still do what she did? She wanted to be seen not only by Colin but also by other people. She needed some affection because even her mother failed to give her that. So if a grown woman can do something like that, why are we surprised when silly children do stupid things to gain attention?

The movie ‘Not Okay,’ directed by Quinn Shephard, undoubtedly got lots of fans’ attention because of Dylan O’Brien. Many of us believed Colin would be one of the main characters with considerable screen time. Oh, what a disappointment to realize that he only appears in a few scenes and plays a douchebag. But, I must admit, his acting style was pretty good. In the first scene with him, I was like: what is going on with his accent? This is not Dylan!

Another person to who I can give a shout-out for great acting is Mia Isaac. She took on a role of a young girl who is mad at the government and the system which killed her sister. You can see the pain and madness in her eyes during the movie. Finally, I only have a little to say about Zoey Deutch. Her character was quite annoying, but other than silliness, there weren’t many more character traits she had. All the time, the same face, the same silly or nervous laugh, and even when she was crying, I couldn’t empathise with her. I just didn’t quite feel the emotions.

To summarize, this movie had potential. The moral of the film is obvious: do not trust everything you see on the internet. But that’s the end. Is it worth watching? I believe everything is worth watching to see whether we like it and what we can take out of it. But would I watch it again? Hell no. And that says a lot since I love rewatching movies. I’d rather watch a film I’ve seen before than a new one to avoid disappointment. The only good thing in the film was the music, which you should be happy with if you like pop. Oh, and spoken poetry written by Rowen! As a person who loves poetry, I think Rowen’s performance at the end of the movie was actually my favourite scene.

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