‘Am I Ok?’ MAX Review: Dakota Johnson Starrer Feels Like A Warm Hug


Dakota Johnson’s 2022 film Am I OK? is finally hitting our small screens on the 6th of June, so first, I’d like to say happy pride! This is a film about a late bloomer, 32-year-old Lucy, who’s recently come to terms with something about herself that her best friend of ages Jane doesn’t know, and chaos ensues. I want to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible because anything else I mention will take away from the inherent warmth that comes from watching this film. I suppose the authenticity of this film comes from everyone involved. Directed by wives and besties Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne and written by Lauren Pomerantz, who happens to be the muse for this story as well, the film is short and sweet and delivers blow after blow in the most subtle way through effective dialogue and simple anecdotes. 

At some point, Lucy says what if she isn’t meant to be happy, and despite its comedic nature, the film really manages to coddle Lucy’s feelings in a way that makes us as viewers feel comfort through her. Vulnerability isn’t the easiest emotion to depict on screen; a lot of times, it’s simply someone crying or a character’s heartfelt monologue that is specifically directed at making the viewer weep. However, the discreet nature of the relatability of this film makes it especially comforting. It is a comedy at the end of the day, and a lot of the movie is actually really funny, but not in a slapstick way, nor is it dark or satirical; it’s simple, and in this case, simplicity goes a long way. Having said that, Am I OK? is compact at one hour twenty-something minutes and yet manages to put into perspective everything Lucy as a character feels. I suppose this comes from the sincerity of the storytelling, and everything just feels genuine. 

The first thought I had while watching Am I OK? was that the conversations felt like home. Now, it doesn’t matter if you’re like Lucy or not; there’s something about her that anybody who is particularly interested in this film will relate to. I know not everyone will be; it’s a coming-out story starring Dakota Johnson, and this is obviously a movie for the gays; however, if you’re even just an ally, I urge you to watch this film. Additionally, it’ll make you miss your friends desperately, and maybe you’ll rekindle old friendships and remember the feeling of joy again. I do like to exaggerate. Haters will say Am I OK? is just alright, or too wholesome in its approach, but that’s what makes it an actually good film. I suppose the best way to watch this film would be alone because it might simply feel like a therapy session, but on the other hand, you could watch it with your best buds for an “omg! We would’ve said that!” moment.

I’m not the biggest fan of people texting on screen; other than the fact that you have to pay attention and actually read what each person is typing out, it also sometimes feels like a lazy way of pushing the narrative forward; however, with that said, in Am I OK? it works fantastically. Also, the font and text bubbles don’t look disastrous like some movies from recent years (looking at you, Insidious: The Red Door). Visually, the movie looks like you and I could’ve made it, which is a great place to be for a film like this one. The pacing is great, and everyone in this film is stunning. 

As much as we love to talk about nepotism, Dakota Johnson might be a people’s princess in that aspect despite that. Her natural comedic charm and carefree nature really help create an image that is very relatable, and despite her missteps in movie choices (you know what I’m talking about), she always thrives in the Indie scene. The last time I felt so enthralled by her was in Cha Cha Real Smooth, a film that I spontaneously go back to every few months when I’m drowning in sorrow and desperation. Am I OK? seems to fit in that exact box as well. It’s in films about outcasts that she manages to fit in the best. As ironic as it sounds, it seems like that where she’s most comfortable and delivers the most natural performances. In the film, not only does she look absolutely stunning (can we get this woman’s hair care routine, please?), it almost feels as if she’s speaking directly to us, as a bestie who is lost and needs a comforting hug. So, for a film that solely focuses on her, it really works out quite perfectly. 

Sonoya Mizuno can do no wrong. Every time I look at her face, I’m reminded of her walking the aisle in her little tinkerbell outfit for the wedding of the century to a lovely rendition of Can’t Help Falling in Love in Crazy Rich Asians. But I’m not here to talk about that. Jane is the extroverted rule-breaker in this dynamic. Lucy and Jane are complete opposites, and Dakota and Sonoya have the perfect chemistry and vibes (oh gosh, I’m an internet person) to make that work. Like I said, it feels like they’re having the conversations that me and my girls have all the time, and none of it comes across as fake or insincere. More importantly, despite the nature of this film, nothing feels cringy, which, on its own, is a huge achievement in my book. 

When I first saw the poster for Am I OK? it reminded me of the cover of Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life. No! Before you pounce on me, these two pieces of media have nothing in common; I’m simply speaking about the feelings evoked by the poster and the cover, which are quite similar. Is it fear, sadness, anger, or pleasure that we see this person experiencing? I think this constant feeling of self-challenging is the main basis of the film and that’s what makes it so fun to watch! I’d give Am I OK? four stars because it’s like listening to a familiar melody that you truly enjoy on a terrible day, instantly making you appreciate life just a little bit more. 

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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