Runtime: 86 minutes
Directors: Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro
Writer: Lauren Pomerantz
Stars: Dakota Johnson, Sonoya Mizuno, Jermaine Fowler, Kiersey Clemons, Molly Gordon, Whitmer Thomas, Sean Hayes, Tig Notaro
By Morgan Roberts
Best friends Lucy (Dakota Johnson) and Jane (Sonoya Mizuno) have been inseparable for years. The pair know everything about each other. However, when Jane makes a decision to take her career to the next level and a new country, Lucy admits to struggling with her sexuality. From there, the best friends work diligently for Lucy to have new experiences with dating women, while Jane must learn to let go of everything she’ll leave behind.
“Am I OK?”(2022) from co-directors Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro bring to life this delightfully heartfelt and hilariously warm film. The directors bring out some of the best work in Johnson and Mizuno. During Lucy’s coming out scene, Johnson encapsulates all of her character’s anxieties, fears, and trepidations of being out. Her work in that scene will stick with you. Likewise, her scene partner, Mizuno, gives space to Johnson while showing Jane’s tenderness and care. The two actresses share many scenes together, but it is this one in particular that reveals so much about their characters and dynamics.
The film also boasts great performances supporting actors like Kiersey Clemons as touchy feely coworker Brittany who Lucy harbers a crush for. Then there’s Molly Gordon as Kat, the overly obnoxious coworker who gets to relocate with Jane. Sean Hayes comes in as Jane’s boss and steals every scene he is in. And, not to mention, there is a spectacular cameo by Tig Notaro that will have you in stitches.
But the foundation of this warm-hug-of-a-film is the screenplay by Lauren Pomerantz. In the Q&A following the premiere, it was revealed that all of the zingers and friendship quirks come directly from the script. We are sold on Lucy and Jane’s friendship from the first scene. So often, films fall into the pitfall of having a person explain their friendship. With “Am I OK?”, we witness their friendship and understand their dynamics through scenes where Jane jokingly gives Lucy a hard time for ordering the same thing at their favorite diner, or Lucy sobbing to Jane in a bathroom after keeping it together at dinner. It is the banter and dialogue that gives each character depth and texture.
“Am I OK?” has been acquired by Warner Bros. and will also have a premiere on HBO Max. Having a theatrical and streaming release will certainly ensure this gem of a film is seen by a wide audience. “Am I OK?” oozes charm, heart, and jollity. With stellar performances, particularly from Johnson, this film is sure to bring plenty of laughs and a few tears.