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Not Okay Movie Review: The Consequences of Lying on Social Media

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

Social media is a dangerous world, and that’s become  more clear to me than ever after I watched Quinn Shephard’s new movie Not Okay, starring Zoey Deutch and Dylan O’Brien. 

Not Okay follows the life of photo editor and aspiring magazine writer Danni Sanders (Zoey Deutch), who continuously tries to feel included at work and win the approval of her co-workers. One day, Danni decides to pitch an article idea to her boss, who rejects the story for being, as she says, “terrible”. Tired of rejection and her “boring” life (which actually appeared pretty standard to me), Danni decides to fake going to a writer’s retreat in Paris to show her co-workers and love interest, Colin, that she can have an exciting life too. However, when a terrorist attack occurs in Paris while Danni pretends to be there, she decides to cover up her lie instead of saying the truth, making everyone believe she was there when everything happened, and she becomes famous for being a survivor. Little did she know that her lie would come out in the worst way. 

In this article, I’ll discuss two problems I found in this film that actually made the movie achieve its purpose. If you haven’t watched Not Okay, you can find it on Disney +. Enjoy!


This movie has a lot of dark comedy tones, which made me realize some aspects of the film, especially the characters, are not there to be taken seriously. All the characters represent clear stereotypes.

There are only three other characters that stand out in the movie, Colin (Dylan O’Brien), Harper (Nadia Alexander), and Rowan (Mia Isaac).

Danni’s love interest, Colin, embodies the “Bad Guy” stereotype we all have seen before. Harper, is supposed to be the “Feminist Lesbian” antagonist who is jealous of Danni Sanders in the film because of her sudden and unfair success. But Harper is not the villain; she is simply a character who doesn’t tolerate Danni’s lies. Rowan represents the “Woke Activist,” a powerful voice for young generations that want to see a change in society. Rowan is a victim of a school shooting and lost her sister due to that particular event. She is an ideal representation of the youth facing many traumatic incidents. How Rowan uses her voice to speak out resonates with many voices we hear every day on social media and on the streets. She is a reference to young activist Greta Thunberg and is a character that has reasoning behind her activism. 

Danni Sanders tries to be all of them. She goes to influencer parties with Colin, tries to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community to feel included and be friends with Harper and her other co-workers, and uses her lie of being a survivor to become a fake activist and gain empathy and followers. 

Even with an attractive plot  like the consequences of lying on social media, the characters don’t need to have a developed personality and back story, because their purpose in the film is to show the ease and ridiculousness of replicating what you see on social media to become famous. As well as showing how ridiculous that is. And that’s Danni Sanders. She is an awful combination of all the secondary characters and tries to use aspects of their personalities to become something she’s not.


The main argument in Not Okay is the danger of social media. However, with the introduction of Rowan, another crucial topic is introduced to the audience, which is gun prohibition in the United States of America. I’m not sure I truly loved the idea of having this topic part of a superficial and dark comedy movie like Not Okay

I often felt like I was watching two different films. One is about Danni Sanders wanting to become an influencer, and the other is about Danni Sanders trying to be part of a movement she has nothing to do with because she wants attention. However, if I tried to come up with an answer about why the director decided to include both topics, I think it’s to add intensity to Danni’s lie. She is putting herself in a very delicate and dangerous position by sharing her lie in front of people fighting for a cause based on previous and genuine experiences.   

In the end, I feel like the audience comes to terms with accepting who Danni Sanders is. She is a lost young woman who makes terrible decisions and represents people who are letting social media take control over who they are. Although the film is not a masterpiece, it was refreshing to see a realistic representation of this dangerous social media era we currently inhabit. 

Montse Pineda

UWindsor '25

Montse is an international student from Mexico. She is a film production student at UWindsor. She enjoys watching movies, getting to know female directors, and talk about the film industry in general. In her free time, she enjoys creating and sharing her art with others.