Is ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Worth All the Drama?

“Don’t worry darling,” they said. Oh, we’re worrying all right.  

There seem to be two distinct problems that occur whenever writing about the film, “Don’t Worry Darling.” The first is writing a review that doesn’t completely divulge the plot. So, don’t worry darling, there are no spoilers in this review. The second is since the film was just released, viewers might not be caught up with all the rumored chaos behind the scenes. So, is “Don’t Worry Darling” worth all the drama? Let’s find out. 

It has been once said that “Don’t Worry Darling” is a movie that “feels like a movie.” Those were some very inspiring words from none other than Harry Styles himself. It is time to test out his theory, don’t you think?  

Released on Sept. 23, Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling” is an entertaining thriller with well-constructed tension that provides viewers with elegant acting performances as well as a richly designed setting. But to put it simply, the film has flaws. It attempts too many concepts at once, which can be a bit confusing for viewers. As one critic put it, the film felt like “there were too many Wikipedia tabs open when the script was written.” Ultimately, the main problem with the film is that Olivia Wilde excessively relies on style and surface to distract from the fact that the story itself is pierced with contradictions. 

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Now let’s move on to the characters, shall we? Florence Pugh as Alice Chambers absolutely carried this film. There is no doubt about that. Not one single unenjoyable performance from Pugh. She put everything she had into her role and carried large portions of the movie almost entirely on her own. In contrast, Harry Styles as Alice’s workaholic husband, Jack, lacked the acting experience necessary to handle the role’s complexity. He presents a performance that is glaringly superficial and devoid of any hint of inner life. 

Listen, we all love Harry Styles. But during scenes involving both Pugh and Styles, Pugh was a formidable force, making it even more evident that Styles was not yet prepared for this task. Don’t get it twisted, the camera loves Styles. But when it came time for him to act out intense emotional scenes, he was clearly not a match for Pugh’s incredible acting skills.  

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Meanwhile, “Don’t Worry Darling” hints that Victory, a picture-perfect ‘50s-style suburb is not what it seems. While Alice’s world turns upside down when she starts having visions she does not understand, she also becomes suspicious of Frank (Chris Pine), the community’s founder and his plans for Victory. When Alice confronts Frank, it paves the way for the major reveal of the film — a fundamental secret.

In Victory, every day is the same which is meant to be an attraction for its viewers. The husbands leave for work in the morning and head to the Victory Project. The wives, on the other hand, do the cooking and cleaning, while also attending dance classes and indulging in day drinking.  

However, the harmony of it all is a little eerie, begging the question, is this really the American Dream, or is it just a nightmare? If American cinema has taught us anything about picket fence perfection in the 1950s, it is that things rarely turn out to be as shiny and flawless as they appear. 

“Don’t Worry Darling” is now playing in theaters.  

By Brianna DiMaio

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