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Don’t Worry Darling Review (2022 Movie)

Don’t Worry Darling is a massive disappointment. It has great potential, but ultimately falls flat and cannot even be saved by Florence Pugh’s phenomenal performance.

Don't Worry Darling movie review

Don’t Worry Darling was one of our most anticipated films of the year, so imagine our surprise when it didn’t even remotely live up to the expectations. Perhaps this film was put too high on a pedestal before entering the theater, or perhaps it just isn’t that good of a movie. The biggest issue with this movie is that there was so much potential — and not just because of the incredible cast lineup. The story is intriguing and thrilling, but it is the execution that does it no justice. 

The film starts out with Stepford Wives vibes. There is a small town named Victory that seems to be set in the 1950’s. It is filed with wives staying home while their husbands go to work so that they can cook and clean and remain dutiful fragile things. They drink and smoke and gossip amongst each other and are always waiting by the door, with a cocktail in hand and dinner on the table, for their husbands when they come home.

Florence Pugh plays Alice, the main focus of the movie. Her husband Jack is played by Harry Styles.  When she (quite predictably) does the one thing she is asked not to do, her world turns upside down. She becomes paranoid and confused, and ultimately risks her husband’s job and their happiness because of it.

Pugh and Styles have alright chemistry, although she steals every scene she is in. Styles is newer to acting, which is apparent in Don’t Worry Darling, especially the longer it goes on. He isn’t bad, but he isn’t great either. A little on the stiff side and easily outshined by Pugh, there are many scenes where he needed to give more in order for them to work. 

For the majority of the movie it comes off as Pugh carrying the entire thing on her shoulders, and even her phenomenal performance cannot distract from the fact that there is far too much going on here. One of the most jarring decisions made is around the sound design. There are moments where Alice is cooking and the cracking of the eggs or sizzling of the bacon is extremely loud. This is likely meant to drive home a point, but instead it becomes irritating and distracting.

Don't Worry Darling movie review

Don’t Worry Darling tries too hard. It is billed as a thriller but it is never suspenseful or thrilling enough. Right from the start it is obvious that things are not as they seem, but it takes way too long to get to where it is going, and when there finally is a big reveal, it is a let down. Once again, the audience will be left wanting more. Most of the plot twists are predictable, sucking any real thrill out of the film at all.

There are many unanswered questions that are left lingering in the air as the credits roll. After what feels like several hours, even though it is just two, the culmination of events results in what feels like a half-ass ending. Things are left completely unaddressed, making it confusing and disappointing. Chris Pine’s character, a motivational leader named Frank, is underused. He should have been a major part of the movie, especially towards the end, but once again, something in this movie falls flat and he is brushed to the side in a way that is more annoying than anything else.

Besides Pugh screen presence and the way she gives everything to this character, the aren’t many positive aspects. It should be mentioned though that the costumes, makeup and hair, and set designs are stunning. Whenever the film focuses on something synchronized, it looks beautiful. So props to those departments.

Don't Worry Darling movie review

The most frustrating thing about Don’t Worry Darling is the fact that it could have been something great. Instead it feels way too long, too confusing, and like it never really gives viewers a good answer to the questions they have been asking the whole time. It tries really hard to accomplish something exciting and thrilling but instead it only hurts itself. Pugh is fantastic, but she isn’t enough to save the film. Styles is decent, but needed to deliver a more powerful performance, especially with a scene partner like Pugh.

A movie that is a great metaphor for feeling trapped, ultimately leaves the audience feeling just that.

Rating: 2 out of 5

NEXT: Bones and All (Venice Film Festival 2022 Review)

Don't Worry Darling poster

About Don’t Worry Darling

Alice (Pugh) and Jack (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 (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 (Chan) – 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 their 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?

Don’t Worry Darling hits theaters on September 23rd.