Movie Review: DON’T WORRY, DARLING
Movie Review: DON’T WORRY, DARLING

Movie Review: DON’T WORRY, DARLING

By ABBIE BERNSTEIN / Staff Writer

Published: September 23, 2022 / 06:03

DON'T WORRY LOVE movie poster |  ©2022 Warner Bros.

DON’T WORRY LOVE movie poster | ©2022 Warner Bros.

Rating: R
Stars: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Sydney Chandler, Kate Berlant, Nick Kroll, Timothy Simons
Writer: Katie Silberman, story by Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke and Katie Silberman Principal: Olivia Wilde
Distributor: Warner Bros./New Line
Release date: September 23, 2022

DON’T worry honey is directed by Olivia Wilde and written by Katie Silberman from a story Silberman conceived with Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke. As it progresses, what happens may remind viewers of a few other specific films, one so much so that it feels like it should be credited here in some way. That would give the game away, so we won’t say the title here (we’ll just mention that it’s itself based on a novel and has two big-screen versions).

In fact, it’s hard to describe much of the plot DON’T worry honey without spoiling it. Here is the configuration. It’s the 50s. We meet Alice Chambers (Florence Pugh) and her husband Jack (Harry Styles). They love each other and have a very active sex life. They live in the idyllic, secluded bedroom community of Victory on a cul-de-sac full of married couples (a little more racially diverse than we might expect in this era). Every morning, the men emerge from the backstage in their beautiful and varied 1950s cars, heading to their jobs at the mysterious Victory Corporation.

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The women stay behind, cooking, cleaning, drinking, gossiping and shopping. We don’t know much about Victory Corporation, except that the men aren’t allowed to talk about their work. Frank (Chris Pine) is the head of the corporation. He and his wife, Shelley (Mia Chan), enjoy the adoration of the populace. Frank likes to give big, sweeping speeches about how it takes courage to go after what you want, that Victoria represents order in a sea of ​​social chaos, and so on. Everyone seems very happy, except for Margaret (KiKi Layne), who is married to Peter (Asif Ali). Margaret insists something is wrong. Alice doesn’t believe her. But then Alice sees a few things that make her start asking questions.

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Wilde is a powerful filmmaker with an engaging visual sense. Pugh provides a center of gravity and never puts a foot wrong. Director and performer between them do DON’T worry honey very watchable, even when the third act becomes a giant ball of exposition. This is where the suspension of belief begins to break down. Filmmakers are selective about what they want to explain. On the one hand, we can understand why they don’t want to spend more time with something that blocks the action. On the other hand, this is a case where if they’re going to go this far with the details, they’d better go the rest of the way.

Even those who wholeheartedly agree with his messages DON’T worry honey will have logistical problems. There are also some obvious contradictions in the supporting characters that aren’t addressed, and the dialogue (especially towards the end) becomes didactic. Styles does quite well as the worried Jack, and Pine perfectly embodies the self-satisfied Frank. Chan is believably formidable as Shelley, and Kate Berlant is very good at the friendly neighbor tone.

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DON’T worry honey it’s nice and pleasant in a 70s speculative fiction. But by the time it’s over, viewers will be with Alice in sentiment deja vu.


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