Hashtag Cheater (2022) | Review

Hashtag Cheater (2022) | Review
Hashtag Cheater (2022) | Review

I admit, I have a pretty big soft spot for Zoey Deutch. The second Zombieland, in which she brilliantly cut one of the most beautiful blondes that the history of cinematography has ever seen, I enjoyed a lot, especially thanks to her presence, and the gangster The Outfit has also been in my sights for a long time because of her. Now, however, the new “Gen Z” drama Not Okay, cleverly translated into Czech as Hashtag podvodnice, in which the talented actress actually played a role quite similar to that in the zombie butcher shop, was given priority. Unfortunately, this time it wasn’t so funny.

The film tells the story of a young girl, Danni, who would like to become a writer and influencer at any cost. The problem is that she’s also a self-absorbed, affected nana who always has a Starbucks coffee in her hand, scrolls through Instagram during a work meeting, and says deadly serious things like, “Oh, the minorities have it so great” in the elevator. Zero self-reflection, no perspective, and in the company where she works, she is quite rightly an outsider, with whom no one has much fun, because everyone else’s IQ drops when conversing with her. However, everything changes when Danni sees a chance to impress the self-confident influencer Colin (Dylan O’Brien) by telling him about a dream stay in Paris, where he is currently going. But in reality he is not going anywhere, so he has to fake the whole trip. Everything goes smoothly until the moment when a real terrorist attack occurs in the European capital and the naive Danni suddenly becomes a victim. A victim who is also not afraid to take full advantage of his newly acquired fame.

The film, which uses Danni at the same time as a narrator breaking the fourth wall in places to inform the viewer that she is fully aware of her actions and how she will later regret them, is more or less a cautionary example of what an initially innocent lie can cause. It must be added that as such, at the same time, Kedoják is not original, and similar to the musical Dear Evan Hansen, which is a few years old (which was also made into a film), it tells about this form of hyenism with the help of a protagonist who does not arouse much sympathy in the viewer. Fortunately, unlike the more emotionally blackmailing Hansen, Not Okay doesn’t excuse the protagonist’s behavior in any way and makes it clear from the beginning or shows that this privileged brat is entirely to blame for most of what comes next. Solid direction and Deutch’s performance, however, hold the film together surprisingly better than you might expect at first glance.

With her film, the 27-year-old director and actress Quinn Shephard steps towards a fairly clear improvement of the main character, who, thanks to the stormy consequences of her big lie, gets, among other things, in the presence of people who have experienced real horrors and still carry great trauma from them, but on the other hand, processed relatively sensitively and without the traditional clichés that are usually associated with such transformations. It is also worth mentioning that the film except for a few elements it’s not quite a comedy, and thank goodness it doesn’t shy away from a fairly normal example of accepting responsibility for one’s actions at the end. At the same time, it must be said that although the film tries to be trendy and lets its characters use slang terms and abbreviations, it is definitely not a deeper inspection, let alone a confession of the Tiktok generation. You could graft the same story and message anywhere.

However, 103 minutes is just enough time for the screenplay to skillfully (if a bit superficially) guide Danni through her unfortunate journey from zero to star and back to zero again, showing a few dark sides of internet hate, when, for example, things go so far that the heroine is finally threatened with death by anonymous people, he had the great O’Brien in a small supporting role fully step into the shoes of a tattooed dude for whom online presence means more than anything else, and then he still gave time to one of the other characters to explain to everyone what that really means “not being okay”.

At the very end, the filmmakers cleverly avoid Danni, for whom there is absolutely no redemption, at least not immediately, and prefer to pay attention to those who are really affected by the topic. Unfortunately, it’s only at the end when the film realizes who it really wanted to tell about, which also wastes the previous hour and a half with a character who in the end turns out to be completely irrelevant. The stupid thing is that the film about them would probably never have been made on Hulu/Disney+ without the beautiful face of Zoey Deutch. Hollywood, well…

Tags: Hashtag Cheater Review

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