Am I OK?: 10 Similar Movies You Shouldn’t Miss

The comedy-drama ‘Am I OK?’ stars Dakota Johnson as Lucy, a 32-year-old woman living in Los Angeles who begins to question her sexual identity after a drunken confession to her best friend, Jane (Sonoya Mizuno). The story follows Lucy on a journey of self-discovery as she explores her indecisiveness around her vastly newfound feelings. The romance moves forward with the protagonist contemplating a potential romance with her flirtatious co-worker, Brittany (Kiersey Clemons), her strained friendship with Jane, her passion for painting, and dating apps.

Directed by Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne, the narrative captures themes of self-realization, the courage to embrace one’s true self, and the evolving dynamics of friendship. The married duo also brings authenticity and warmth into the story, making it a perfect balance of romance, comedy, and drama. Fans who want to taste more personal growth and acceptance tales should find something worthwhile from the following ten films similar to ‘Am I OK?’.

10. The Half of It (2020)

Alice Wu’s coming-of-age dramedy follows the story of Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), a shy, straight-A student who makes extra money by writing papers for her classmates. Ellie’s quiet life changes when she agrees to help a jock named Paul (Daniel Diemer) woo his crush, Aster (Alexxis Lemire), by writing love letters for him. Ellie soon finds herself falling for Aster, complicating the situation with a textbook love triangle.

The Netflix romance captures the essence of teenage romance, unrequited love, self-identity, and friendship in an admirably emotional and authentic manner. The themes above, in addition to the rollercoaster of misunderstandings and comical circumstances — high-school dating and wooing match the vibes of dating apps — ‘The Half of It‘ fully reflects the tone of ‘Am I OK?’.

9. But I’m a Cheerleader (1999)

A satirical teen comedy from director Jamie Babbit, the Natasha Lyonne-starrer follows Megan, a high school cheerleader who is sent to a conversion therapy camp by her parents, who suspect she is a lesbian. At the camp, Megan meets and falls for another girl, Graham (Clea DuVall), amidst a management who would throw absurd techniques at the pair with all their might rather than accepting them for who they are. The story highlights Megan’s journey as she comes to terms with her sexuality and rejects the camp’s attempts.

Babbit, who also wrote the story, turns the camp into a butt of jokes, infusing it with a real-life treatment program her mother ran to rehabilitate teens with substance addictions. With its vibrant, colorful aesthetic and sharp, deadpan humor, Babbit’s dramedy critiques societal norms and outdated practices such as conversion therapies that invade an individual’s preference. With themes of empowerment, self-acceptance, and the importance of being true to oneself, the movie offers — from teenagers’ perspectives — an ‘Am I OK?’ like commentary to face external pressures.

8. Alex Strangelove (2018)

An old-school sex comedy from Netflix with plenty of progression under modern standards, Craig Johnson’s ‘Alex Strangelove’ centers on Alex Truelove, a high school senior with a seemingly perfect life. Embarrassed by his virginity, Alex plans to have sex with his girlfriend, Claire. As fate would have it, his world is turned upside down at a house party, where he meets Elliot, an openly gay and charming teenager. Alex detects a newfound sensation in his system, which leads him to question his sexuality. This meet-cute resembles Lucy’s drunken statements, which set her mind on a similar whirlwind of questions. The film’s humorous yet heartfelt exploration of sexual identity and the mayhem surrounding it also mirrors the Dakota Johnson film.

7. Crush (2022)

A Gen-Z teen-comedy, ‘Crush‘ narrates the story of a high school student and aspiring artist, Paige, who joins the track team to get tight to her crush, Gabriella. Directed by Sammi Cohen, the plot follows the misunderstandings Paige indulges in and the desperate means she adapts to reach her goal, including befriending Gabriella’s sister, AJ. As Paige navigates the complexities of young love and self-identity amidst the chaos of adolescent life, the film’s charm keeps on building with its relatable characters who bring humor and sincerity.

The story takes a twist when Paige becomes the subject of suspicion at her school, with many believing she is a lesbian. The pressure leads Paige to confront her true feelings and explore her identity more openly. With its themes of self-realization, acceptance, and the joy of first love, ‘Crush’ is bound to connect with ‘Am I OK?’, which replaces the protagonist facing such complexities in relationships with a slightly older woman. In addition to the importance of embracing one’s true identity, the two movies also paint a picture of the prejudice that follows once one is out of the closet.

6. G.B.F. (2013)

An acronym for the widely-used narrative trope, “gay best friend,” this title follows Tanner, a high school student who unintentionally becomes the center of attention when his classmates discover he is gay. To make matters worse, he is also recruited by the institute’s most exclusive clique, which three highly popular girls rule, and thus, unintentionally living the dream of his friend — another closeted gay — Brent.

The movie plays around with some hilarious concepts, such as introducing concepts like a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) in the school, a hook-up app for gay guys, and the notion that a GBF boosts a girl’s popularity factor and her vote count to secure the prom queen title. Directed by Darren Stein, the movie’s most significant themes — much like ‘Am I OK’ — are identity and social acceptance. The two movies’ similarities transcend their themes, offering a humorous journey involving common catalysts such as unique dating apps.

5. Pariah (2011)

Director Dee Rees’ coming-of-age film tells the story of Alike (Adepero Oduye), a young African-American teenager who vows to embrace her identity as a lesbian despite family expectations and societal pressures. A profoundly personal affair for Rees, whose real-life experiences inspired the character of Alike and the entire narrative, ‘Pariah’ follows Alike’s journey as she advances to search for her first lover. Amidst the constant fear of acceptance at the hands of her family — when their relations are already sour — she makes acquaintance with Bina (Aasha Davis), the daughter of a colleague of her mother, and a romance ensues.

Rees’ drama addresses self-discovery, acceptance, and the struggle for authenticity within a constrained environment. Her exploration of Alike’s journey mirrors the heartfelt and reflective examination of identity in ‘Am I OK?’ In addition to humorously revealing the desperation for a romantic partner, both films emphasize the importance of genuine self-expression and the challenges faced by individuals within their societal and familial contexts.

4. Dating Amber (2020)

This David Freyne venture takes place in Ireland during the mid-1990s. The period drama follows two closeted teenagers of the opposite sex, Eddie and Amber, who pretend to date each other in order to avoid suspicion about their sexualities as the abuse surrounding homophobic sentiments has been spreading fatally. The fake couple must also make considerable efforts to reach their goals: Eddie wants to join the army like his father, whereas Amber dreams of living a liberated life away in London. The plot takes a turn when the two try to take a break from all their hard work and visit a gay bar in Dublin.

The worlds around Eddie and Amber’s exploits spread, and their pretense faces scrutiny of townsfolk, creating hurdles in their friendship, acceptance of identity, and other goals. As the duo navigates their fake relationship, they grapple with their own feelings and identities, shedding light on the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in discovering and embracing their true selves. In a heartfelt portrayal reminiscent of ‘Am I OK?’, ‘Dating Amber’ sheds light on societal prejudices, self-doubt, and the seemingly anxiety-free life of highly modernized urban areas.

3. Show Me Love (1998)

The plot of this Lukas Moodysson directorial revolves around the lives of two teenage girls navigating love and identity in a small Swedish town. The teen drama film, inspired by Moodysson’s own experiences, tells the story of Agnes, an introverted girl struggling with her feelings, and her secret crush, Elin, a popular but disillusioned girl. Their paths intertwine as they navigate the challenges of adolescence, love, and self-discovery. ‘Show Me Love’ is characterized by its raw, realistic portrayal of the challenges of adolescence and the societal norms that hinder one’s freedom and choice.

With authentic performances from Alexandra Dahlström and Rebecka Liljeberg, ‘Show Me Love’ delves into the whirlwind hunt for identity and discovering the inner courage, which, despite always accompanying an individual, only comes out on the surface with the power of friendship. The message, as mentioned earlier, along with the literal display of what it takes to be true to oneself, Moodysson’s dramedy mimics ‘Am I OK?’ with both films replicating the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ and the seemingly tough but possible solutions to overcome those.

2. The Wedding Banquet (1993)

A romantic comedy-drama directed by Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee, this Taiwanese-American collaboration follows a gay Taiwanese immigrant living in New York who agrees to a marriage of convenience with a Chinese woman to appease his traditional parents. As the wedding plans progress, complications arise, leading to a heartfelt exploration of love, identity, and family. Affectionately considered part of Lee’s ‘Father Knows Best’ trilogy—all of which star Lung Sihung as the titular father—the family film throws hilarious complications on the lead trio, who must continue the charade and hide the truth at any cost.

One of the most iconic moments in ‘The Wedding Banquet’ arrives in the form of its titular event—an extravagant wedding that takes the fake couple’s act to fly in the ointment. In addition to the non-stop comedy, the screenplay also touches upon the struggles of balancing personal desires with societal and familial pressures. Lee’s project skillfully presents nuanced moments of friendship and unrequited love, striking a chord with ‘Am I OK?’ The two films’ portrayal of a character withholding their coming out serves a fresh hint of suspense amidst all the romance and comedy, as both leads feel like a ticking time bomb.

1. Love, Simon (2018)

The teen film stars Nick Robinson as the titular character, Simon Spier, a high school student with a seemingly perfect life and a straightforward task — spilling the secret that he’s gay and leaving the closet for the better. Hesitant in making the move, Simon comes across an anonymous classmate, known only as Blue, and reveals his sexual orientation online. Greg Berlanti’s direction witnesses Simon stepping on the root of self-discovery and communication through emails, trying to uncover Blue’s identity and take their relationship to the next step.

An adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s young adult novel, ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,’ Simon’s on-screen story creates a charm in its relatable portrayal of the high school experience and the universally resonating act of one’s inability to act despite the need. Similar to ‘Am I OK?’ ‘Love, Simon‘ features a lead who is afraid of showing his true self, even to his closest friends. The portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters in both movies emphasizes the universal need for understanding, support, and love, making Simon a teenage companion to Lucy.

Read More: Am I OK?: Is The Womb a Real Lesbian Bar?