Warner Bros.

Movie Review: Don’t Worry, Darling

12:00 September 27, 2022
By: Fritz Esker

While the early buzz around Don't Worry, Darling was largely unfavorable, it's not a bad film. Sadly, it's not quite a good one, either, but there's at least genuine discussion points to be had after watching it.

Alice (Florence Pugh) lives in a superficially blissful 1950s-style life with her husband (Harry Styles) in an isolated desert community where all of the men are working on a mysterious, classified project they are not allowed to discuss with their wives. Alice starts seeing strange visions, and begins to question the reality of her life.

This is a hard movie to discuss without getting into spoilers, but to be as vague as possible, Don't Worry, Darling owes a lot to a moderately famous 1970s thriller. If I say the name of that thriller, it will give away the plot twist Darling hinges on. Unfortunately, most viewers will guess at least the gist of this twist pretty early on even if they haven't seen the previously-alluded-to 1970s thriller. The problem here is the running time is a little over two hours, and the twist is revealed around 90 minutes into the film. So, viewers are left with a lot of screen time where the movie seems to be dragging its feet towards a big reveal most viewers will see coming. Alice's visions eventually become repetitive as the film plods towards its big reveal. Viewers will also likely have more questions than answers re: the mechanics of what's going on after the twist happens.

However, there are things to appreciate about Don't Worry, Darling. Pugh (Midsommar, Black Widow) does a good job in the lead. Chris Pine (Star Trek, Wonder Woman), playing the boss of the mysterious community, proves he can play villains well. He has just the right mix of charisma and sliminess to convey the character's sinister nature while also making viewers understand why people would still follow his lead. Director Olivia Wilde also imbues the film with some striking visuals.

Wilde, who also appears in the film as Pugh's best friend, first made a splash as a director with Booksmart, a film I had a mixed reaction to. I appreciated the compassion it had for its characters, but thought it squandered a lot of golden comic opportunities. Don't Worry, Darling is also, ultimately, a mixed bag.

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