Sundance Review: Dakota Johnson and Sonoya Mizuno Are Electric in the Thoughtfully Grounded Am I OK?

Stephanie Allynne and Tig Notaro's joint directorial debut is an essential take on coming of age, and coming out

AM I OK? Review

The Pitch: Lucy (Dakota Johnson) and Jane (Sinoya Mizuno) aren’t just best friends — they’re Best Friends, capital letters. They speak their own language. The staff at their local diner knows them as a duo, and they know each other’s orders. It’s the kind of friendship where when one wants to have a sleepover, the boyfriend knows to just go home.

The bubble in which Lucy and Jane comfortably reside is burst from two ends. Jane is offered a promotion that would take her from their cozy corner of Los Angeles all the way to London. Meanwhile, Lucy is coming to terms with an attraction to women, something she’s never vocalized before — not even to Jane.

The nuances of every close female friendship are different, but what Lauren Pomerantz has so lovingly captured here in the screenplay is that some things about having a best friend are universal, too.

True Friend, Here to the End: Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne‘s joint directorial debut could have been great with many different actresses in the central roles, but Dakota Johnson and Sonoya Mizuno are magical together.

It’s Johnson who carries the emotional weight of the film as the awkward, introverted Lucy, a painter who has settled into a desk job at a posh LA massage studio. Johnson has long proven herself adept across genres and has generated plenty of buzz throughout this year’s Sundance alone. What she brings to AM I OK? is a believability that makes Lucy sympathetic, even to people who haven’t undergone the experiences we see onscreen.

The film focuses a bit more on Lucy than it does on Jane, but Mizuno is so authentic and so watchable as Jane (as opposed to the eeriness she had to bring to Ex Machina or the breeziness of Crazy Rich Asians) that the film effectively makes the case for putting her in any project she wants, forever.


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