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DON’T WORRY DARLING 🤮

Layers upon layers of disappointment.

PREMISE

A 1950s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community begins to worry that his glamorous company could be hiding disturbing secrets.

THE GOOD STUFF

FLORENCE PUGH- If anyone comes away absolutely unscathed by the thermonuclear disaster that was the press run for this film, AND the absolute sloppiness of this movie (more on that in a sec), it is Pugh. It can be said with relative accuracy that not only is this the best performance in this film, but this may be the best performance in her entire career.

She is in 99% of this film, and she is never boring, never repetitive, and when she shares the screen with certain actors, she alone keeps the scene from being laughable. Pugh is not only a bonafide star, she’s a certified leading lady. Any questions about her ability to carry a film should be absolutely vanquished as of this point.

OLIVIA WILDE- Though a lot has been (unfairly) said about Olivia Wilde, the human being, Olivia Wilde, the director, should be acknowledged if something special. This is her second feature film, and stylistically she absolutely knocks this out of the park. Remember that this film is only 10 to 15 million dollars more expensive than her directorial debut Booksmart. It is a movie that stylistically looks about three times as expensive then what it is, and that is a credit to her.

It’s a damn shame that the gossip has gotten so loud around this movie that people aren’t going to acknowledge the wonderful talent that she possesses as a director. Her supporting performance in the film is good as well.

CHRIS PINE- I can see how the character played by Chris Pine can be seen as maniacally evil when reading the script, yet he does not come off like that here. To be honest, I don’t even think that’s something that he’d be able to do that convincingly. However, he’s perfectly cast because he is so effortlessly charismatic. He seems like a guy who could easily seduce and manipulate a group of people just by being the coolest guy in the room.

I often hear people talk about Paul Newman in the same way that we can describe Chris Pine. Not in terms of the resume per se, but because of something called screen presence. He has it. He’s practically mastered it.

……you know who DOESN’T have screen presence tho??

THE BAD STUFF

HARRY STYLES- I promised myself going in that I wouldn’t judge what Styles does in this film just because I know of him as a pop star. Many people have done that prematurely, and it’s not fair. It is abundantly clear by watching this film that Styles has worked his balls off to try and be as good as he possibly can, and what he does in this film is absolutely respectable.

His role is miscast. It’s hard to explain how, besides the fact that he has an absolute absence of intensity. Even when the scene calls for him to match the intensity of Pugh, it just… isn’t….quite……

You know what I mean??

One can’t help but also feel that this role may have called for an actor that is older. Or maybe just older-looking. Either way, Styles looks wildly out of place in such a pivotal role.

THE UGLY STUFF

THIS F****** 3RD ACT- Don’t worry darling is a film that practically screams to you that it’s going to have a twist in the third act, that the twist is going to come out of nowhere, and that there may be a couple of red herrings along the way to keep you from predicting what the twist will be. Then the rest of the film is the collateral damage of that twist. The biggest problem with this film is that about 20 minutes in, you can feel that the twist is the singular thing that will make this film worth recommending or not.

Unfortunately, it is the worst M. Night Shyamalan-like twist imaginable. The collateral damage from this bad twist just gets worse and worse and worse leading to an ending that is really, really unsatisfying.

********************

Sometimes a movie will have more things good going on than bad, and it’s only fair to give a positive review of the number of good things going on. But sometimes, even though the number of good things outweighs the bad things, the bad things (especially in this case) are really loud, fluorescent, vague, unnecessarily complicated, impossible to ignore, and ultimately come to define the movie-going experience that you have just had.

When you’re coming out of the theater asking yourself why certain choices were made and saying to yourself how much better this movie could have been if they just did (insert opinion here), then it plain and simply isn’t recommendable. That is certainly the case here.

DON’T WORRY DARLING is in theatres now  

Eli Brumfield

Eli Brumfield in an actor/screenwriter from Seattle Washington, living in Los Angeles.

He is the host of the RV8 Podcast.

He hates the word cinefile, but considering how many films he consumes in a week...and how many films he goes out of his way to see, no matter the genre...he kinda seems to be one.

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