Lets assume you're not terminally online. Now add a setting that you only care about Oscar films after the nominations have been announced, and that you have no preconception of film festival rollouts or campaigning for six months to win a trophy. Okay, now we can proceed with talking accurately (and not hysterically) about Olivia Wildes Dont Worry Darling, a new thriller starring Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine.
Alice (Styles) is a perpetual honeymooner, always in the throes of passion in a Palm Springs-looking suburb, where all men perform top secret jobs in the desert at the same time, going directly to work on unpaved roads to a landing on a hill. And if their wife asks what they do, a simple you-know-what or immediate oral sex would suffice as an answer.
Pine is the architect of the community. He also hosts a one-hour radio program that is broadcast into every house, aimed at the wives who reside in Victory. The wives do the housecleaning, cooking, and shop with ease. They simply shout Ill take it! when presented with an object in a showing room. It is charged to a company account.
Wilde herself plays Pugh's best friend in Victory, whose husband (Nick Kroll) just received a pinky ring blessed by Pine. Gemma Chan serves as Pine's supportive wife and dance instructor to the housewives, teaching them not just to dance, but also to refrain from staying in line. Of course, nothing is as it appears. Once Alice sees (or hallucinates) a plane crash in the mountains, she starts to interrogate me.
Any additional information beyond that will give away too much information. Though Dont Worry Darling isnt as much a twisty movie as a withholding movie. Which is somewhat fair because whatever is happening happens via obvious gaslighting. But its also a bit of a cop-out. It might have been better for the film to go earlier in the second act to explain more of Alice's and Jack's inner workings.
So, let's get back to basics. Without spoiling anything, Darling will be alluring, panicked, frightened, and yassified. Regardless of whether or not you think the film is worthwhile, he also has a better version of himself that you'd like to see in his photographs. From Busby Berkeley legs to desert dust kickups, to the classic Hitchcockian farewell speech, it's worth the effort to see.
The Stepford Wives is a fun movie to watch, and Wilde, Pugh, and Pine are all capable of splicing together intrigue. It is lacking in a complete experience because it holds its cards a little too long while treading some familiar ground in the lead-up. Maybe this is because Darling was too adamant about exploring the ugly stuff.
Dont Worry Darling is best served as a surface-level matinee thriller with a few follow-up appointments. However, it doesnt sting like it should in the end. Darling chooses to girlboss when it could have been sucker punched. Yet its still far more watchable than many terminally online people already believe it to be.