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Dakota Johnson’s Queer Film ‘Am I OK?’ Explores Self-Discovery in the Height of Coming Out

Dakota Johnson’s Queer Film ‘Am I OK?’ Explores Self-Discovery in the Height of Coming Out

Dakota Johnson in cover of "Am I OK?"

Two years after its premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allyne’s Am I OK? released on MAX to kick off the start of Pride Month. Starring Dakota Johnson, the film follows main character Lucy as she discovers her sexuality at 32 years old. 

Dakota Johnson in "Am I OK?"
Am I OK? follows Johnson’s character Lucy as she discovers her sexuality at 32 years old. Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

Johnson plays a lovably awkward character who struggles to navigate her feelings. With the help of her best friend Jane (Sonoya Mizuno), Lucy begins to explore the possibility that she is a lesbian. On top of her realization regarding her sexuality, Lucy learns that Jane is moving to London, causing them to fight and leaving Lucy to navigate her life changes on her own.

The film is filled with relatable moments for those newly coming into their sexuality, most notably Lucy taking “am I gay?” quizzes and having to decipher the sexuality of the queer-coded people around her, like her coworker and first hook-up Brittany (Kiersey Clemons)

Dakota Johnson and Kiersey Clemons
Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

More than exploring sexuality, Am I OK? displays the changes that come with self-discovery. Lucy ultimately learns that she is a lesbian, but also that she has been living in a bubble of her own comfortability for too long — and finally dares herself to take risks. 

The film itself is not entirely ground-breaking but finds its strength in its comedic timing and Johnson’s charming performance. Disguised as a coming-out story, the film truly delves into the friendship between two women, and how it changes — and endures — as they evolve.

Dakota Johnson, Sonoya Mizuno, and Molly Gordon in "Am I OK?"
Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

As far as sapphic films go, this film is not nearly as impressive as some of its recent predecessors, like Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart. However, it is refreshing to watch a film go beyond the often-formulaic coming-out story of recent Hollywood flicks to explore a queer character whose life isn’t solely shaped by her sexual identity. 

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Am I OK? can prepare audiences for new types of queer films, whose plots don’t rely entirely on the character coming out. Hollywood often struggles to tell queer stories that go beyond surface-level, so to see a film that explores the many facets of a character’s identity — including their sexuality — is an exciting prospect for films to come. 

Am I OK? is available to stream now on MAX

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