For someone who finds joy in watching movies like 10 Things I Hate About You and Freaky Friday over and over again, do with the following information what you will. Last night, I attended an early screening of the much-anticipated movie Don’t Worry Darling, and like anyone who has been following the PR disaster from this film, I have some thoughts. Being the pop culture expert in my friend group, at work, and in my family, the gossip around this movie for the past two years has consumed me and all of my group chats, so as you can imagine, I felt compelled to jump at the opportunity to see this thriller before it was open to the public. From off-screen romances to recastings to awkward red carpet encounters, I needed to see if all of the chaos leading up to the movie was worth my dollars. All this to say: if you’re waiting on a sign to purchase your ticket to see Don’t Worry Darling when it hits theaters on September 23, let this be it.
Here’s what I thought of the PR disaster fire that is Don’t Worry Darling:
But first, the trailer
My favorite part about this movie was that it felt like…a movie
Harry Styles kind of made a point when he uttered the now infamous line “it felt like a movie” at the Venice Film Festival. It’s been a while since I felt the joys of stepping into the theater with my overly buttered popcorn and sitting down to watch a movie, and I found that spark again after watching Don’t Worry Darling. Preceding the early screening was a live broadcasted Q&A session with the director, Olivia Wilde, and a handful of the cast where she shared her one piece of advice to the audience: Don’t blink when you’re watching this movie. From the visuals to the eerie sounds that were rumbling my seat, I didn’t even think to get up for a bathroom break. If you’re not down for the plot (which I will get to), the cinematography alone will have you captivated. This film was meant to be seen on the big screen, and if there is one thing that Olivia Wilde achieved, it was making this movie something to be experienced.
The plot could’ve thickened
It’s safe to say my heart was beating pretty much the entire movie. I was at the edge of my seat, and my head was filled with questions about where this plot was going to take us. Without giving too much away, essentially, Florence Pugh and Harry Styles play a young, lovesick couple named Alice and Jack Chambers who live in a perfectly curated town founded and funded by Frank, played by Chris Pine, whom all the men in the town work for. Alice begins to spot the flaws of this utopian society following the psychotic break of one of her neighbors (more on her in just a second) and challenges Frank about his profession and what this “perfect” community is really all about. There is an “aha!” moment in which everything starts to make sense, but it takes more than half of the movie to get there. Once we reach that point, it feels like all the loose ends are tied pretty quickly, and then it simply ends. I was left wanting more—specifically, a backstory about Frank and how the community started would have given the entire story more meat. Nonetheless, I was hooked from beginning to end.
There is one actress who is not getting enough hype
You would think that after hearing about this movie for the past two years with the whirlwind of drama surrounding it, we would at least hear more about the actress, Kiki Layne, but that is unfortunately not the case. It goes without saying, this was a stunning cast, and everyone who was expected to do a phenomenal job, did (Harry Styles included, despite what that one clip of his accent may tell you). However, this is me putting it out in the universe that I would love to see more from Kiki Layne, who plays Margaret, a neighbor of Victory town who is the first to start noticing the cracks in the community and inspires Miss Flo’s character, Alice, to get to the bottom of the Victory Project. Her ability to see what others couldn’t truly gave me chills, and the plot of this movie would’ve felt empty without her.