Am I OK? (2024) Movie Review – On coming out in your 30s

On coming out in your 30s

When we think of Hollywood’s coming-out stories, we tend to think of modern dramas centering teens and young adults. And that makes sense; after all, more Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ+ than those of previous generations. One report even has the number at nearly 30 percent, naturally leading to more queer media aimed at and centering young people.

Coming out in your 30s, as it turns out, looks a little different. That’s the focus of Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne’s Am I Ok?, which is based on screenwriter Lauren Pomerantz’s own experiences. It follows Lucy (Dakota Johnson) as she struggles to come to terms with her sexuality later in life than most, all while reckoning with the potential loss of her newly-promoted best friend Jane (Sonoya Mizuno).

Am I Okay? plays out something like a rom-com, but the romantic focus is substituted for Lucy’s relationship to herself as well as her relationship to her best friend. The film beautifully pinpoints what it’s like to have a friendship like Lucy’s and Jane’s. When Lucy sends Jane a picture of cheese that looks like her old dog, or Jane makes a sexual comment to Lucy, it’s not ridiculous or inappropriate–because each has a deep sense of who their friend is, and they share security in each other’s company.

That’s why, when Lucy comes out to Jane, it throws the second wrench in a relationship that’s built on this sense of knowing (The first was Jane’s news that she’s moving to London). And while Jane is endlessly supportive of Lucy’s exploring her sexuality, she continues to act as though she knows exactly what’s in her friend’s best interest.

The journey their friendship takes works so well alongside Lucy’s journey of self-discovery because they are both, in some ways, about the shame surrounding the unknown. For Jane, that’s about not knowing her friend well enough to help her in the ways she needs. And for Lucy, the shame is much more apparent and debilitating–coming from being in her 30s and still not knowing who she is. But it’s never too late for discovery.

While the film generally doesn’t dig too far beyond the surface of these themes, you can feel complex thoughts and feelings radiating off Dakota Johnson, who gives a vulnerable and moving performance. Side characters, on the other hand, fall somewhat flat: namely Jane’s boyfriend Danny (Jermanie Fowler), who serves absolutely no purpose (other than, I guess, to reassure us that Jane isn’t gay).

In the end, Am I OK? isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but it is refreshing as a 30-something-year-old’s coming-out story and as a queer story that puts so much stock in female friendship. Put it on if you want to celebrate this Pride Month with something funny and heartwarming.

Read More: Am I OK? Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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