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Am I OK? Lets Molly Gordon Be Spectacularly Annoying

Forget the discourse over Claire in The Bear — let's all just agree that Kat is the worst.
  • Molly Gordon, Dakota Johnson, and Sonoya Mizuno in Am I OK? (Photo: Max)
    Molly Gordon, Dakota Johnson, and Sonoya Mizuno in Am I OK? (Photo: Max)

    It’s pride month, and what better way to kick off the celebration than to watch Dakota Johnson star as an awkward but adorable lesbian in Am I OK? 

    Directed by Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne, the comedy-drama film — which first premiered at Sundance in 2022 and debuted on Max on June 6 — centers on 32-year-old Lucy (Johnson), who realizes her dates with men aren’t working out because she’s actually a lesbian. With encouragement from her best friend Jane (Sonoya Mizuno), she comes out and tries to start dating women, but finds the process to be messier and more complicated than she’d hoped. 

    There’s a lot to like about the film, from Lucy and Jane’s complicated but fiercely loyal friendship to its (unfortunately) very realistic depiction of the horrors of modern dating apps and situationships. It’s also neat to see a story about coming out later in life, which hasn’t been explored much on screen save for a few examples like And Just Like That…, Heartstopper, and Our Flag Means Death. However, the biggest highlight of Am I OK? is Molly Gordon, who plays Kat.

    Fans of The Bear will recognize Gordon as Claire, Carmy’s (Jeremy Allen White) controversial love interest. Introduced in Season 2 as Carmy’s childhood crush, Claire is beautiful, magnetic, and impossibly perfect. Despite her busy schedule as a nurse, she apparently has the time to track Carmy down after he gave her a fake number, drag him to parties, and open his eyes up to the beauty of life outside the kitchen. She’s the ultimate “cool girl,” and everyone on the show can’t seem to shut up about how cool she is. 

    Unsurprisingly, the Claire storyline has sparked massive discourse. Some viewers have criticized the character for seemingly embodying the tired manic pixie dream girl archetype (Vogue's Radhika Seth even deemed her “pure male fantasy”), some think she’s actually great and the backlash is blown out of proportion, and others wish Carmy would just date Syd (Ayo Edebri) instead. 

    Gordon’s character in Am I OK? is the popular opposite of Claire. Kat, a coworker and friend of Jane’s, is anything but a “cool girl.” She’s not charming and mysterious; instead, she’s loud and obnoxious. She says clueless stuff like “I’m fully going bi when I go to London,” designs her own wacky clothes (think: a patterned green “dress” topped with glitter and what looks like a giant oven mitt at the center), and occasionally sings her words just to be quirky. She isn’t malicious or anything, just deeply, deeply annoying.

    To be clear, Kat is definitely supposed to be insufferable, and Gordon absolutely nails the role. Somehow though, Lucy seems to be the only one who registers how much Kat, well, totally sucks. Everyone’s encountered someone like Kat at some point in their lives — that one person who’s somehow always around and just really gets under your skin for whatever reason. Yet for some reason, everyone else seems to love them and thinks they’re the absolute coolest. “Isn’t Kat the best?!” Jane squeals, making us all groan right along with Dakota Johnson. 

    No matter which side of the Claire debate you’re on, Gordon’s performance in Am I OK? is a treat. For those who can’t stand Claire, Kat’s character is sort of cathartic. Despite Jane insisting that she’s “the best,” it’s obvious to both the audience and Lucy that Kat is actually the worst, and the film pokes fun at that. We get to feel validated in disliking Kat because we know she’s intentionally written to be annoying, whereas Claire isn’t supposed to come off that way. 

    Meanwhile, those who like Claire can appreciate seeing Gordon shine in a totally different type of role here (with a standout moment in the screaming hammock club at the end). It speaks to Gordon’s range as an actress that she can convincingly play such contrasting characters — aside from The Bear and Am I OK?, she’s also had memorable roles in Booksmart, Shiva Baby, and Theater Camp

    Even if we never reach a consensus on Claire, we can all agree on one very important thing: Kat is the worst. She’s the ultimate definition of a character everyone can come together to hate, and that’s beautiful. 

    Am I OK? is streaming on Max.

    Kelly Martinez is a TV Reporter based in Los Angeles. Her previous work can be found at BuzzFeed and People Magazine, among other outlets. She enjoys reading, spending time with her cat, and explaining the plot of Riverdale to people.

    TOPICS: The Bear, Am I OK?, Dakota Johnson, Jeremy Allen White, Molly Gordon, Sonoya Mizuno