‘Am I OK?’ Review: When It’s Time to Grow Up

Dakota Johnson stars in an expansive friendship comedy about coming out in your 30s and finding yourself.

The appeal of the late bloomer movie is rooted in its parent genre: the coming-of-age story. Our heroine begins a little naïve and learns some hard but good lessons, maybe falls in love. Sometimes a mentor provides wisdom before leaving her to stand on her own two feet. In a traditional coming-of-age story, the protagonist is usually very young, so that world is full of possibility. Anything could happen next.

But with a late bloomer, the world’s possibilities have been shut down a little, and that shifts the tone. Decisions about career, friendships and family have already been made; the stakes of change are higher. That means a late bloomer story could be a comedy, or it could feel more melancholy, even like a tragedy. There’s an inherent realism in a film like “All of Us Strangers” or “Her” or “20th Century Women” that’s bracing and invigorating.

Depending on your age, Lucy (Dakota Johnson), who is 32, may not feel old enough to be termed a late bloomer. But she certainly feels like she is. The protagonist of “Am I OK?” has settled into a quiet, unchallenging Los Angeles life. She’s the kind of person who stares at a diner menu full of options and then orders the same meal — veggie burger, sweet potato fries, black iced coffee — every time. She spends most of her free time with Jane (Sonoya Mizuno), her childhood best friend, and keeps her life ripple-free. She’s never been in love. At the end of dinners with Ben (Whitmer Thomas), the guy she’s ostensibly dating, she shakes his hand.

By her own admission, Lucy is nervous all the time, “scared of everything.” Worse, she says, she’s not sure if she’s ever been happy, or what even makes her happy. She has built herself a comfortable box to live in, as long as nothing changes.

Her box is about to cave in. One day, Jane announces that she’s moving to London for work, and Lucy suddenly feels unmoored. A feeling that’s been growing inside her is now too strong to ignore: Lucy knows she’s attracted to women. And she’s especially attracted to Brittany (Kiersey Clemons), the peppy new masseuse at the spa where she works as a receptionist.

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Source: Movies -


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