Five Thoughts on “Not Okay”

I saw this movie a month or two ago during a period where I was, ironically, very very much not okay. And yet, for whatever reason I was able to engage with it, enough to end up watching it twice even, and I’m not completely sure why. I guess it’s just a good film? (Spoilers ahead.)

1. So this is basically Cancelled: The Movie. Did Danni learn anything at all from her experience? She says she didn’t towards the end, which is more honesty than I expected from this absolute car-crash of a human being, but I noticed… She kept her highly distinctive hairstyle even post-cancellation, even though it made her more an easy target for the people harassing her. Maybe that was her way of subconsciously punishing herself.

2. Mia Isaac as Rowan is really the highlight of this movie, she’s just totally and unnervingly believable as a teenage school shooting survivor. You can tell that Rowan is a very kind-hearted person who’s just been constantly destroyed over and over, and then by the end she’s not going to take it anymore. Her last scene with all her righteous anger is really good.

3. And speaking of school shootings… god, I’m just never going to be over seeing shooting drills as a normal part of some people’s high school life. That is accurate to reality, right? I’m not American so I’m getting this info from movies and TV but god, what a way to create a generation of traumatized kids.

4. There aren’t really any sympathetic characters in this movie apart from Rowan and her family, and maybe Danni’s parents. Harper does the right thing by exposing Danni but she admits upfront she was motivated mostly by jealousy. And pretty much everyone else in the movie is incredibly vacuous, hedonistic and self-centered. You kind of wonder if maybe Danni would have turned out at least a little different if she wasn’t working in a world that was celebrating those qualities.

5. Danni’s pet guinea pig (named, rolls eyes, Guinea Weasley) strikes me as an oddly important character. No good guinea pig owner would keep just one of them, they’re social creatures who need a companion. If they don’t have any social bonds, they develop depression and can even die. So Danni is keeping this creature in what’s probably a lot of misery, another indication of how ignorant and selfish she is. And on top of that the guinea pig is a metaphor for Danni herself: right from the beginning she’s clearly deprived of meaningful social contact, and so over the course of the movie her mental state starts to deteriorate. Unlike the guinea pig though, she can choose how to act. And chooses terribly.