‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Disappoints


Warner Brothers

Olivia Wilde’s second film, ‘Don’t Worry Darling,’ was released on Sep. 23.

Katya Roudakov, A&E Editor

With a 38% Rotten Tomatoes score, Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling seemed like yet another star-studded disappointment, but its box office opening was far from a failure, bringing in nearly $20 million. Much of this is likely due to its chaotic but memorable promotional tour that started with director Olivia Wilde being served with custody papers onstage at CinemaCon and ended with drama at the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Don’t Worry Darling wanted to be the next Truman Show, but instead it’s just an unoriginal, poorly-paced counterfeit. It follows housewife Alice (Florence Pugh) and workingman Jack (Harry Styles) and their life in an idyllic 1950s community. It quickly becomes obvious that something isn’t right, and we follow Alice as she uncovers the truth of her life.

Styles’s acting is mediocre, especially compared to the brilliance of Pugh and Chris Pine. Casting an inexperienced actor in such a pivotal role was the first of Wilde’s mistakes.

Katie Silberman, Wilde’s screenwriter of choice, knows how to write a coming-of-age comedy — we saw that in Booksmart, Wilde’s 2019 directorial debut that maintains a well-deserved 96% Rotten Tomatoes — but she cannot pace a thriller. Too much time was spent focusing on the wrong things, and when the credits rolled, it felt like I had watched the first half of a movie.

If this film had been given to a bold director instead of a conservative, shallow-thinker only concerned with fan service, this would be an entirely different story. Wilde and Silberman ruined a perfectly interesting story, and even Pugh’s performance couldn’t save it. I left the theater with more questions than answers, chief among them, “Who allowed this?”