Maybe Darling Should be Worried

by Olivia Riportella '25
A&E Staff


Arts & Entertainment


A Review of Don’t Worry Darling

Olivia Wilde’s new production Don’t Worry Darling has arrived as one of the hottest movie messes of 2022. From drama amongst the cast and director to volatile audience reviews, this movie has surely attracted a lot of attention over the past few weeks, whether it be good or bad. The film ultimately received a lackluster score of 38 percent from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a “B-” score from audiences on CinemaScore. This comes as a disappointment due to much anticipation leading up to the film, with lead roles being portrayed by superstars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine.

The motion picture is a psychological thriller with Florence Pugh playing Alice Chambers, a 1950s housewife living in a chilling utopian community with her husband Jack (Harry Styles). When unusual occurrences start to develop, Alice worries that something is wrong in the neighborhood that she and Jack live in. Florence Pugh is reported as phenomenal in Wilde’s thriller, but unfortunately the story barely holds together. 

Wilde’s directing debut, Booksmart (2019), was a major critical success, leading to a multi-studio bidding war for the rights of her second film, Don’t Worry Darling, with New Line Cinema eventually winning. The film looks illusive from the outside, with the costume design of a dreamy golden and sky blue 1950s wardrobe, featuring handsome men in suits and beautiful dresses all around. It almost looks too good to be true, which is exactly the point. However, the problem is that Wilde focuses so much on surface and style that she does not follow a consistent, well-developed plot. Although Pugh manages to deliver a stellar performance, she almost single-handedly carries the entire film. 

Styles is a major draw for the motion picture, as his devout fan base continues to see the movie regardless of its ratings. According to Warner Bros, female viewers made up 66 percent of the audience during the movie’s opening weekend, which helped propel the box office performances. In addition, the studio reported that 52 percent of the weekend’s ticket sales were made by those under the age of 25. Despite this, Styles is still inexperienced in acting and wasn’t able to deliver a fully complex performance for his role.

Due to the drama surrounding the release of the motion picture and the devout fanbase of the lead actors, Don’t Worry Darling was still able to cash out at the box office. One of the executives shared prerelease projections from market research company NRG, which revealed expectations for the movie had whirled from $16 million (when tracking started in August) to $20 million around its explosive premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 5 where drama exploded amongst cast members. It went back down until estimates stayed around $20 million around release week, which was slightly above the $19.1 million that Don’t Worry Darling received at the North American box office. The release for the motion picture was solid, but overall, the movie may have not lived up to the anticipation.