FOLHAPRESS – Before the story even begins, a warning comes into play. “This movie has flashing lights, trauma and a highly unpleasant female lead.”
So it begins, and that female protagonist, Danni Sanders, played by Zoey Deutch, is in despair in front of a laptop screen where she watches horrible comments about how she is the worst person there is, memes with similar content and even a death threat from a blogger who discovered her address and urges internet users to go to where she lives. Danni Sanders is in the gutter, at the bottom of the pit.
The title in English, “Not Okay”, fits perfectly with the opening and will be better explained throughout the one hour and 40 minutes of the film, released without much fanfare in late July on the streaming channel Star+.
In Portuguese, the title is a huge spoiler, “Influencer de Mentira”. A pity, it would be perfectly possible to adapt “Not Okay” in a way that doesn’t spoil a piece of the plot. “Nothing Well”, for example, would do no harm.
Zoey Deutch, the lead actress, is 27 years old, the same age as writer and director Quinn Shephard. She has been known to the public for almost ten years, when she played Emily in the feature film “Sixteen Moons” with Emma Thompson, Viola Davis and Jeremy Irons.
Then, he was part of the cast of “Zombieland: Double Tap”, from 2019, the same year he debuted as Infinity Jackson in the Netflix series “The Politician”. In real life, Deutch is the daughter of actress Lea Thompson, who played Lorraine McFly, the mother of Michael J. Fox’s character in the “Back to the Future” franchise, released in 1985.
“Influencer de Mentira” is a satire, sometimes very funny, sometimes very embarrassing and at times deep and dramatic. It won’t make the top ten of the year list, but it’s a relevant film. And what raises this importance is the way it translates an anguish common to millennials, or Generation Y, as those born between 1981 and 1995 are classified – the anguish of being noticed.
This is not a trait that was born with this generation. She always existed. But these kids reached adulthood with unprecedented instruments to achieve notoriety. Between reality shows, YouTube channels, portable and multipurpose computers and social networks, if it weren’t for a mathematical problem impossible to solve, everyone could be famous.
Danni Sanders, the protagonist of “Influencer de Mentira”, doesn’t do any math when she decides to end her anguish by appealing to an artifice that seems, at first, harmless. To get the attention of co-workers, be recognized as a talented writer and, who knows, put aside the feeling that she is not needed, she invents that she was invited to a residency for writers in Paris.
Without leaving Brooklyn, the New York neighborhood where she lives, she produces photos of herself, which she then edits at home to make it look like she’s at tourist attractions in the French capital, and posted on Instagram. It gains followers without hurting anyone. Telling a lie without consequences.
But one morning, minutes after posting a photo in which he appears in front of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris suffers a terrorist attack that makes the whole world stop everything it is doing to pay attention to the destruction of the city and the survivors of the attack. The Arc de Triomphe, specifically, falls into disrepair. And Danni Sanders, a celebrity.
And how she likes it. She gives interviews, gets invited to parties, attracts the attention of her cool colleague she has a crush on, Colin, played by Dylan O’Brien, and is summoned by her boss, who used to be terrified of her writing ideas, all of which were absurdly out of the ordinary. tom, to write a first-person account of his experience as a survivor of a terrorist attack.
To write something about what a survivor thinks and feels, Danni invades a meeting that Americans have for all kinds of problems, such as alcoholics anonymous or, in this case, for survivors of acts of violence.
In the group, the only person close to her age is teenager Rowan, played by Mia Isaac, who witnessed a shooting at her school that killed dozens of her classmates. Rowan is an internet celebrity herself and deals with trauma by campaigning for an end to firearms in which she often delivers speeches in the form of poems.
Danni and Rowan become very close, and it is the new friend who tells her that “it’s ok not to be ok”, title of the film and the story she writes on the website Depravity and which goes viral.
That’s the way to the top for Danni. But the film begins with her already unmasked, transformed into the mean girl of the time, suffering the virtual lynching that, we already know, leaves very real scars on people.
Quinn Shephard’s nimble script and direction needed an actress who could be both obnoxious and recognizable for this story to have any verisimilitude, and Zoey Deutch nailes it. Write down the names of these two artists. This film, which is no masterpiece, has the enormous merit of revealing two stars.
Where Available on Star+
Rating 16 years
Cast Zoey Deutch, Mia Isaac and Nadia Alexander
US production, 2022