Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Don't Worry Darling is the worst movie I've seen in the past year

You may recall high drama on the set of a movie from last year that you probably vaguely remember kind of wanting to see. Off camera, actor Harry Styles, whose music I think I like a little less all of a sudden, started having an affair with actor and director Olivia Wilde, who was still married at the time to Jason Sudeikis, who is thankfully not involved in said movie and may be the only one to come out of this whole mess unscathed.

Don't Worry Darling is about a desert town (the only thing going for it is the beautiful scenery that resembles Death Valley and Palm Springs) of 100 homes or so constructed in a circular pattern and filled with teams of husbands and wives. The husbands go by day to a secret production facility, the wives stay home and do 1950s Stepford housewife things, and then they get together with their neighbors at night and on weekends for socializing and heavy drinking. We later learn that everyone has been brought to the isolated area in the past through virtual reality, presumably to forget their old miserable lives and to live without real-life cares and consequences.

Chris Pine is the big boss and his acting is not bad but he hardly has a script to work with. We learn little of his backstory (my guess is tech bro), his reasoning for bringing people to the town (they pay him money to take them back via VR to a time when America was "great?"), or why his eventual downfall occurs (his wife wants to be the powerful #1).

Florence Pugh is also not awful as the lead Alice, who discovers hints that all is not right in the desert. Her life becomes imperiled as she gets closer to ratting out Pine to the other members of what one could call a cult, but I love cult and sci-fi stuff, and this just doesn't pass mustard. Most of all, her performance is hindered by several really slow sequences hiding behind the guise of suspense.

Also, I got excited when I realized at the start of the movie that Nick Kroll is in it because he's one of my favorite comics, but he gets a next-to-nothing part. Even Wilde, who did a nice job acting in Vinyl in 2016 and directing Booksmart in 2019, doesn't have much acting space to bite into.

If the moral of this stinker is to question authority, then sign me up for a job working with the authority.

1.5 out of 5 stars

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