Actress-turned-writer-director Quinn Shepherd was 20 years old when her first feature, “Blame,” played the festival circuit in 2017 and had a solid grip on her demographic, from a sense of aimlessness to a selfie-stick-driven scene. of the world
Enter Danny (of Zoe Deutsch). “politician”
), an aspiring writer is not taken very seriously at the magazine where she works. “You wake up every day thinking, ‘I want to see,'” a teary-eyed Danny muses early on, “be careful what you wish for.”
Flash forward to two months and Danny stumbles upon the idea of faking a trip to Paris using the wonders of Photoshop to impress people. But when there’s a terrorist attack, people immediately want to know if she’s okay, and instead of coming clean, she tells an increasingly fantastic story about what she experienced and saw, winning new social media followers and attention from her peers. Handsome Colin (Dylan O’Brien). Heck, even her mom (Embeth Davidz) is suddenly awesome.
Worse, Danny doubles down on the deception by befriending an activist (Mia Isaacs) who survived a school shooting, initially to learn something about how to convey the fake trauma she didn’t actually suffer, but later a sense of real connection.
Dani puts this connection in public profile, making a speech in which she declares, “I’m not okay,” which nicely captures the charm of a catchphrase culture quick to excite new faces and eager to destroy them.
Yet like everything else in her life, she hasn’t put enough effort into the game to have much hope of sustaining it — an unpleasant quality that Deutsch conveys so well — which only adds to the discomfort of collateral damage.
Shepherd breaks the story into chapters, which helps pace the relatively slim story. “Not OK” isn’t the kind of movie that will garner a mass audience (hence its debut via Hulu), but it’s one of those ideas of the moment that can manipulate where we are and who commands the spotlight.
Only it’s not always right, but as Danny said, it’s a reminder to be careful what you wish for.
“Not OK” premieres July 29 on Hulu. It is rated R.