NewsWorld"Don't Worry Darling" Isn't As Good As All The...

“Don’t Worry Darling” Isn’t As Good As All The Drama It Generated Off-Screen

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Here’s what’s happening with the cast of “Don’t Worry Darling” 3:40 (CNN) — The flurry of drama and off-screen rumors surrounding “Don’t Worry Darling” have put the second Director Olivia Wilde’s film in an awkward spot, unable to justify the fuss (it’s good enough at best), but probably in a good place to cash in on it. Florence Pugh is the strongest argument for seeing the movie, but considering all the projects she’s in, if you miss it, don’t worry. The darkly mysterious concept represents a marked departure from Wilde’s impressive debut with “Booksmart,” a little coming-of-age movie that hit all the right notes. The actress-turned-director assembled a top-notch cast, but in a story that drags on too long and isn’t resolved very cleanly; in fact, the ending becomes what the film’s driving force strives to avoid, namely chaos. Owing a spiritual debt to “The Stepford Wives,” with its careful portrayal of the suburbs, there are also plenty of more recent points of comparison, like “Suburbicon,” directed by George Clooney. There’s even a hint of “Edward Scissorhands” in the pastel-hued vision of a perfect cul-de-sac where men drive to work in single file while their wives obediently wave goodbye. Alice (Pugh) and her husband Jack (Harry Styles) seem to be living the dream, partying hard with his coworkers in the 1950s-style planned neighborhood where they all reside. The two are madly in love with each other, almost sickly, according to Alice’s friend Bunny (played by Wilde). However, everything seems too perfect and therefore suspicious, starting with the fact that no one explains what exactly they do working for something called “Project Victoria”. There is also a cult devotion to the boss, Frank (Chris Pine, like Pugh, superior to the rest), which makes those in charge of him enthusiastically accept that they are “changing the world”. Harry Styles and Florence Pugh play a couple in a company town in ‘Don’t Worry Darling,’ directed by Olivia Wilde. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture If the goal is a kind of speech about happy conformity, it eventually gives way to a certain “gaslighting” when Alice begins to sense that something is wrong, driven by strange dreams, surreal images and the behavior of a neighbour. Based on a script attributed to Shane and Carey Van Dyke (grandchildren of Dick Van Dyke) along with “Booksmart’s” Katie Silberman, “Don’t Worry Darling” falls into the creative trap of being modeled after an episode of “The Twilight Zone,” only without the kind of reveal that would elevate it to the most memorable level of that series. Although the film has something to say about gender politics and misogyny, it is not well articulated enough to distinguish itself from other films. With this in mind, the question posed by The New York Times in relation to the off-screen relationship controversy, “Will growing publicity hurt ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ at the box office?” seems precisely backwards. ; rather, the real question is whether that curiosity, including the Zapruder-esque analysis of stars at the Venice Film Festival premiere, can fuel interest in an otherwise bland film. Practically, despite the intense attention surrounding Styles’ acting career, the main draw should be Pugh, whose rising profile, with an Oscar nomination for “Little Women,” “Black Widow” and the upcoming “Dune” , will put it back on the screen with “Wonder” in November. Following Wilde’s impressive debut, there are always expectations to see if a filmmaker can pull off another hit. In this sense, “Don’t Worry Darling” seems more like a modest setback than a major disappointment, but ultimately it’s hard to call this project a victory. “Don’t Worry Darling” opens in US theaters on September 23 with an R rating. The film is distributed by Warner Bros. Studios, which like CNN is part of Warner Bros. Discovery.

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