Not Okay: A Main Character You Will Love to Hate

Not Okay is one of those movies that makes viewers hate, and I mean hate, the main protagonist, Danni. It even comes with a warning before it starts clarifying that she is very unlikable. Admittedly, this is the worst part of the film. Even though she is like a train wreck and so very hard to look away from, she is annoying and aggravating, and demanding throughout the entire movie.

The movie revolves around Danni Sanders, a young woman who has no friends. She is full of herself and entitled, but also suffers from depression. It starts with her being horrible at work, as she is trying to move from a photo editor to a writer at the website she works for.

Eventually, she decides to fake attending a writers retreat to not only impress a guy she works with but to get some time off of work and boost her Instagram followers. It doesn’t work at first, but when a bombing occurs in Paris, where she claims the retreat is, she is thrust into the limelight as a survivor and a hero.

Danni quickly becomes comfortable with all of the attention she is getting. When she crosses paths with a young school shooting survivor, Rowan, things get a whole lot more complicated. The longer this move goes on, the more and more frustrated viewers will become with Danni and the boneheaded decisions that she makes.

No Redemption Arc

Zoey Deutch plays Sanders and she does a fantastic job of making the audience dislike her, which is the whole point. The problem is she is so unlikable, that it is hard to be interested in her life the longer the story goes on. While she is surrounded by a few likable characters, they don't get nearly enough screen time, which can take a lot of viewers out of the story.

At about the halfway mark it honestly starts to become uncomfortable to watch, and Mia Isaac, who plays Rowan, is the only saving grace. Even Dylan O'Brien, who plays Colin, is like nails on a chalkboard with his fantastic performance of another purely awful human being.

The lesson here is a great one, about being yourself and how karma will bite you in the butt if you lie to better your reputation, career, or personal gain. However, it is a struggle to get through at times because the people in this movie are, for the most part, horrible people.

That said, the story surrounding Rowan, and her reasoning for being a gun laws activist, steals the show. Sure, the movie is about Danni and her lie that all started in order to impress a boy and ended up taking the world by storm and making her a super influencer (yes, this is pretty much another Inventing Anna but in movie form and not based on a real story), but it is Rowan's story that brings heart to the movie.

Because of the flow of the movie, and the fact that it starts at the end before flashing back to the beginning of the story, the plot is ridiculously predictable. Considering this was not based on a true story, there is no need to do that and while it does cause viewers to be interested in how it plays out, it is frustrating to know how it all ends.

Not Okay is brilliant at times but frustratingly slow and annoying at others. Still, there is heart and humor to be found throughout and while you are certainly going to hate Danni, you will absolutely love Rowan. A great summer movie that will make you appreciate the people in your life a little bit more, Not Okay comes exclusively to Hulu on July 29th. Follow us here for the latest on movies in theaters now.

Rating: 6/10 SPECS

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Featured Image Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.

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Tessa Smith owns and is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic and a huge geek. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Hollywood Critics Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. She grew up watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books -- and still loves all of those things. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and spreads the word that there is nothing wrong with being a geek.