don’t worry darling
Released September 23
Don’t Worry Darling is a fascinating Psycho-SciFi concept, and the entire audience that attended my screening was in intense conversations as they left the theater. Some people were trying to break down the intricate plot twists. Others associated difficult situations that we have just seen in the film with their own lives.
What director Olivia Wilde does well with this film is create a living world. Arianne Phillips’ costumes are perfectly reminiscent of those of the 1950s, as is the desert oasis town of Victory. Anyone who’s been to Palm Springs will recognize the historic architecture that hasn’t changed since that time. The CEO’s home in the story is the famous Kaufman Desert House by star architect Richard Neutra, and the hilltop headquarters of the Victory Corporation is played by the famous Volcano House which belonged to Huell Howser.
This world isn’t just reflected in the architecture – the relationships between men and women in the story echo the reality of mid-century society. Here, a woman’s place is at home, cleaning up, cooking and welcoming her husband back from work at the end of the day in a perfectly fitted perky dress, handing him a cocktail as he walks through the door. Note that cocktails were an accessory, a status symbol of the high bourgeoisie of the time. For those of you who weren’t alive in the 1950s, I will attest that that was indeed how life really was. Millennials of this generation had grown up sacrificing themselves during a war they thought would never end or end badly. This perfect American dream lifestyle was their deathblow in the face of the uncertainties, fears and rationing of war. House partying with perfect appetizers and cocktails was their mode of posting on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube. Instead of showing your camera-ready face on your iPhone, you showed your camera-ready home and lifestyle. “Victory” was not just a random choice of the name of the city by the authors of the story, Carey and Shane Van Dyke, who are incidentally the grandsons of Dick Van Dyke.
I also don’t believe that the character names are random. Florence Pugh does a commendable job of bringing her ‘Alice’ character to life as she descends down the proverbial rabbit hole –Alice in Wonderland? Harry Styles plays the innocent “Jack”…and the magic bean? who is just trying to create a good life for his wife Alice. Chris Pine has the great range to play the insidious “Frank” guru. Well, Frank was the name of the author of the Wizard of Oz. This story is Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz for the 21stst Century.
In many ways, this film is well done. What broke the depth and intensity of this intriguing concept, for me, was the style of the dream sequences. They seemed jarring and abrupt, distracting my attention from the narrative and suspense. I felt like there were parts of the characters’ life threads left out, and that seems to have been the case, as Kiki Layne reported that most of her pivotal scenes weren’t in the final assembly. There’s a Harry Styles dance sequence that would have been effective if it hadn’t been painfully and awkwardly long.
There’s been a lot of publicity about bad behavior and other annoyances among the cast of this movie, and next to nothing about where it was shot, how lively the setting is, and whether it covers certain concepts. heavy in lifestyle choices, male/female relationships and environment. standards / century. But the old adage “No publicity is bad publicity” works here, and Don’t Worry Darling draws a large following.
Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a talent manager at Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. [email protected]