I’ve been told I have terrible taste in movies because I mostly like the movies I see. There are a few rare movies I dislike that people love (Titanic, Lady Bird, Pulp Fiction, any movie from the 80s with Molly Ringwald in it) and I just accept that maybe I have bad taste.
Being tasteless has its advantages, like enjoying many pieces of pop culture and not being a snob as it relates to movies. Especially movies that have a certain vibe of drama around them that is fun to follow, which brings us to the movie many of us have been waiting for Don’t Worry Darling.
Based on the premier and initial reviews of the movie – and ongoing reviews – people were not thrilled about it. Everyone loves Florence Pugh and every millennial woman loves Harry Styles, so that should make for a pair that gets many cheeks in seats. Then the drama surrounding the movie started to unfurl weeks ahead of the premier and whew chile, it was was some TEA! The Olivia and Harry getting together, Shia LaBoeuf’s firing, the alleged spit incident, Miss Flo, the highway robbery Kiki Layne experienced, and there’s more I’m missing – but all are enough to spark interest. Plus the trailer made the movie look interesting enough. Despite all of these things going for it, critics were out on it, darling.
For those of you who haven’t seen this, if you liked Get Out go see this movie and then come back here and read the rest of this.
Two paths diverge, critics and the average viewer may not have liked this movie, but they’re not the ones with the keyboard here – I am. I was shook by the ending. I thought this was going to be a commentary on class and access to “the perfect life” regardless of race (I read it wrong with Kiki Layne and Gemma Chan), but really it was a commentary on incels. I was and am still cackling with a touch of being horrified. It wasn’t until the third act that I found the movie to be scary. Not like Freddy Krueger murdering you in your sleep scary, but Get Out scary. Like someone abducting you, taking away your freedoms, and forcing you to live in what they would consider the ideal situation while acting like they’re the victim scary. It’s giving gaslight, gate-keep, gag.
A man trapping his partner in a sim for “the perfect life” that involves her not working, not being able to drive, and spends her time cooking, cleaning, shopping, and gossiping with the gals, is scary. Taking away someone’s ability to choose is scary. Assuming that being a housewife is better than women having the independence to choose is scary.
My tasteless hot take, Don’t Worry Darling was an enjoyable film that I will watch again despite it underutilizing the talent of the movie, and the failings of Olivia Wilde when it came to what she thought would be women’s empowerment and feminist. Wilde directed a visually beautiful movie with a talented cast (Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan, Kiki Layne, Nick Kroll, Chris Pine), and an interesting story that offers a culturally relevant commentary as it relates to technology, rights to choice, and some of the propaganda young men consume that leads them justifying mistreatment of women.
This one gets a 3.5/5, the .5 being for trying to imitate the excellent thriller Get Out. Imitation is a form of flattery, and I like that. Jordan Peele deserves to be – nay, is the gold standard when it comes to social thrillers, which is something to keep in mind when watching this movie.