Review: “Don’t Worry Darling” is lackluster compared to the drama surrounding it

Review: Review: "Don't Worry Darling"

The film is filled with cringe-worthy moments and awkward dialogue.
Published: September 29, 2022
Harry Styles and Florence Pugh star in
Harry Styles and Florence Pugh starred in "Don't Worry Darling."

Auditorium 13 at Regal Destiny USA had the energy of a concert right before a pop star took the stage. Except for this time, Harry Styles would be taking to the screen.

As the WB logo teased the start of the movie, a girl began chanting “Harry, Harry, Harry” until her giggling friends shushed her.

Style’s role as the leading man, Jack, surely contributed to the full theater on Thursday’s opening night, but the drama surrounding Don’t Worry Darling has had moviegoers wondering if the film could possibly be more captivating than what’s happening off-screen. Olivia Wilde’s second time in the director’s chair has been the source of memes and juicy gossip for months– From the disastrous premiere at Venice Film Festival to the rumored relationship between Styles and Wilde.

Like the spectacle behind the scenes, the film itself is entertaining but ultimately forgettable. Florence Pugh gave it her all as Alice, a young woman who lives in a 1950s-style utopia called Victory with her husband, Jack. Her performance was convincing as a housewife who begins to question her own reality after a series of surreal incidents, but even she couldn’t save the film from its awkward dialogue and laughable dramatic scenes.


Seriously, there’s a scene where Harry Styles tap dances for what feels like 10 minutes. It was embarrassing both for him and all witnessing it. A strong contender for worst line goes to “Isn’t that what you Brits say? Keep Calm and Carry On?” said by Dr. Collins (Timothy Simons).

Visually, the film is beautiful with pastel colors and fun vintage fashion. The strong aesthetic helps to create the same immersion for the viewer that Alice feels in Victory. It is also a fun contrast to the film’s sinister tone.

In interviews leading up to the film, Wilde discussed her desire to show true female pleasure on screen. Pugh said she didn’t want her performance to be reduced to sex scenes with her ultra-famous co-star. The internet was abuzz when the trailer dropped, showing Styles going down on Pugh upon a kitchen table. With so much controversy, one might expect to leave the film feeling…aroused. The sex scenes were not the feminist triumph Wilde intended — they lacked the sensualness needed to please the female gaze.

It’s tempting to recommend saving the cash and waiting until Don’t Worry Darling hits streaming, but part of the fun might come from seeing it in theaters. Its ‘50s style charm begs to be seen on a big screen, and watching it at home could leave too much temptation to turn it off halfway through. If that’s the case, don’t worry darling; you’re not missing much.