Don’t Worry Darling

I was not expecting this from Don’t Worry Darling.

When the movie was in the theaters, there was such a backlash against it, I just never found myself interested in it. I had a mistaken idea that the movie was a love story, but, now that I have watched it on HBO Max, I realized that this was much more of a psychological drama with some sci-fi elements.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, “Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) are lucky to be living in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town housing the men who work for the top-secret Victory Project and their families. The 1950’s societal optimism espoused by their CEO, Frank (Chris Pine)–equal parts corporate visionary and motivational life coach–anchors every aspect of daily life in the tight-knit desert utopia. While the husbands spend every day inside the Victory Project Headquarters, working on the “development of progressive materials,” their wives–including Frank’s elegant partner, Shelley–get to spend their time enjoying the beauty, luxury and debauchery of their community. Life is perfect, with every resident’s needs met by the company. All they ask in return is discretion and unquestioning commitment to the Victory cause. But when cracks in her idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive façade, Alice can’t help questioning exactly what they’re doing in Victory, and why. Just how much is Alice willing to lose to expose what’s really going on in this paradise?

Okay, this is definitely a mix of The Stepford Wives, The Matrix, and The Truman Show. I think the movie wants there to be some connection to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as well, but I do not think it works near as well.

I started out uncertain, but the film was interesting at the beginning, but it never really broke out of the basic genre tropes that we see in so many other movies. There was nothing that made this stand out from the pack.

Florence Pugh is a star. She is an outstanding actor whom has a bright future ahead of her. This performance is strong and probably the best part of the movie. Harry Styles was fine, but had a hard time matching the acting quality of Pugh. Chris Pine felt wasted as the enigmatic Frank.

The film looked good, with director Olivia Wilde doing a solid job of shooting it. It just feels as if the positives just do not add up enough to overcome the lackluster script.

I will say that I do not think that it is as bad as what I expected after hearing all the negative reviews. Don’t Worry Darling is watchable, but it is just nothing remarkable. It feels like a film that I will not remember in short order and, with as many intriguing themes that it attempts to cover, that is a shame.

2.5 stars

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