Ever since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Don’t Worry Darling has been a wilde ride of controversy, critiques and gossip.
10 days — that is how long we need to wait to see Harry Styles and Florence Pugh on the big screen for Don’t Worry Darling, in a film that is overflowing with critiques, gossip and some of Hollywood’s finest.
Don’t Worry Darling premiered at the Venice Film Festival only last week, and whilst it received a standing ovation at the time, its Rotten Tomatoes score was impressively low. Standing at 44% (which is a staggering 16% lower than the rating needed to be considered fresh on the Rotten Tomatoes scale), the greatest criticism seems to be that the film tackles themes which we have all become a little too accustomed too. Aka, there’s nothing new.
The plot line, however, has potential. It follows a young couple, composed of Alice (Pugh) and Jack (Styles) who live in a utopian-like community named Victory, which is an experimental town housing the families and workers of a top secret Victory Project. Set in the fifties, the narrative resembles that societal optimism of the time, which of course eventually cracks down and causes Alice to begin to wonder what exactly it is that the Victory Project consist on.
The story may sound vaguely familiar. The visuals, however, are breathtaking. Colour, dresses, toupees and this highly saturated image of the perfect American town make this, at least visually, an enthralling watch. The cast is beautiful, the clothes are enviable and the settings are immaculate; Victory comes across just as intended.
The Petty Gossip
Unfortunately (or fortunately — every press is good press?), the Olivia Wilde directed film has been on the spotlight for real life controversy. We have heard people speak about “Spitgate”, a wild theory that Harry Styles spit Chris Pine following a viral video on socials. With such a wilde (excuse the overused pun) conspiracy playing about, Chris Pine’s representatives told People magazine that “This is a ridiculous story — a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation.“
Of course, then there’s the whole romance between the film’s director and lead role. Much has been said as well about Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles, whose relationship began alongside shooting the film and shortly after Wilde’s divorce with ex-husband Ted Lasso.
The Production Controversies
Don’t Worry Darling was mayhem from the very beginning, back to when the film’s rights were being contested. With a spectacular 15-18 offers on the table for the spec script as well as Olivia Wilde assigned to direct, everyone wanted rights to the film, which was eventually won by New Line Cinema.
Funnily enough, it seems that Wilde had initially casted herself as the film’s lead, Alice, and Florence Pugh as Bunny. What happened instead was a role switch in all its glory, as Wilde thought it best for the plot to focus on a younger couple. Equally, Harry Styles’ character was supposed to be played by Shia LaBeouf, a switch which was box-office genius considering LaBeouf being a controversial character at the moment.
Controversies aside, the film will hit cinemas on the 23rd of September.