A review of Don’t Worry Darling

Don’t Worry Darling is a cause for concern

Don’t Worry Darling is now in theaters. Photo Courtesy | dontworrydarling.movie

Director Olivia Wilde’s sophomore feature is a film that’s had a lot of eyes on it over the last half year. I won’t be getting into any of the drama surrounding the making of this film as it’s not really my role to do so, but just know this. It’s messy, it’s tabloid-y, and, for better or worse, it’s drawn plenty of attention toward the film. I wish from the bottom of my heart I could say that despite its rocky production the film triumphs and shines in the face of its doubters. Unfortunately that’s not the case. So, what’s the deal with Don’t Worry Darling

The film centers around housewife Alice Chambers, played brilliantly by Florence Pugh. Her and her husband Jack, played by Harry Styles, have the perfect relationship, reside in the perfect neighborhood, and live perfect lives. Though, it doesn’t take long for strange things to start happening in the normally peaceful Victory community. And once that occurs the true nature of the film begins to slowly reveal itself. 

It’s just a shame none of that is as interesting in practice as it is on paper. There is a good bit to enjoy about this film on a surface level; one of the most evident aspects being its aesthetic. The production design throws us back to the affluence of 1950’s America and both its sets and costumes were excellently crafted. I also thought the story was fairly interesting and had plenty of potential to be the foundation of a great film, but the manner in which it was told left much to be desired. 

Wilde attempts to bring forth a specific schizophrenic energy to the film; similar to ones we’ve seen in films like Black Swan or Shutter Island. But in order to nail that vibe certain sequences must be executed well. And I felt the scenes that needed to do so fell flat. I don’t mean to take shots at the direction from Wilde. I found it to be serviceable; though, far from the apex of her talents she showcased in her previous film Booksmart. I’d say this film’s bigger and more pressing issue is its screenplay

. If I were the studio head at Warner Brothers and someone handed me the completed script for this film. I’d send it back and tell them to stew over it for another couple months. It’s a little choppy, a little lopsided, and it doesn’t fully come together to create something of significance. This film does have its saving grace, however, and it comes in the form of the masterful performance by Florence Pugh. I won’t go out on a limb and say it’s her best performance ever. I found it to be about par for the course. But Pugh is such a good actress that her performance alone is enough to elevate this film from one that, without her, would be borderline bad; to one that, with her, is a few notches above decent. 

If you take everything into consideration; this film is about as mixed a bag as you can get. I’m feeling around a 76% for this one. It’s intriguing and entertaining enough, but it was difficult to not be disappointed after finishing it. And to the Harry Styles fans who are upset I only mentioned him once in this review, my sincerest apologies.

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