Ooooooooh baby. BMT Live! This is the year that it’s back, baby. What better way to celebrate than to really mix it up. See some schlock, but also throw in an Oscar contender that maybe reached just far enough off track to qualify for BMT. That’s Don’t Worry Darling. Full disclosure, I was actually already looking forward to the movie. Pugh is one of my favorite young actors. Best part of both the good and bad films I’ve seen her in. I also thought the drama potentially was putting it in a no-win position. That it could be fun and well made, but still falter with critics because it wasn’t good enough to overcome the headache they had to endure while following its press tour. So I was really coming in with an open mind and pretty excited that we could include a film in BMT that I was probably going to go see anyway.
To summarize, Florence Pugh and Harry Styles are two very beautiful people living a utopian 50’s lifestyle sexing each other up like sexy people do. They live in a company town run by Victory headed by Chris Pine (also sexy). There are a lot of rules, the biggest one is that no unauthorized person is allowed to go to Headquarters. One day at a party everyone is minding their own business being sexy when one of their friends, Margaret, starts to freak out. Shortly thereafter, while riding the trolley, Pugh sees a plane crash in the mountains and runs out after it, eventually ending up at HQ. She touches the building there and blacks out, waking up back at her house. Her brain seems to go on the fritz following that event culminating in her witnessing Margaret slit her own throat and jump from her roof. Decidedly unsexy stuff. The town doctor (an unusually unsexy man) attempts to drug her, but Pugh resists and at a real bizarre party where Harry Styles gets a promotion and then dances like a maniac for like an hour, she confronts her friend Bunny who tells her to shut her sexy mouth. The climax of the film has Pugh realizing that she’s actually stuck in a VR world created by Pine, which Styles has purchased. Every day Styles wakes up and takes care of her body while her mind continues to live out her day. Horrified, she kills Styles and makes a break for HQ. She is able to make it just in time to break out of the simulation. THE END.
As I said, I was already interested in seeing this film. So I came in ready to be like “this isn’t as bad as all these dumb reviewers said!” Welllll, I mean I guess that’s technically true. I think Pugh is amazing and the visuals are very pleasing. I even think Styles is a lot better than people are making it seem. Is he miscast? Sure, I certainly think it would have been better with LaBeouf, who would have had a better sense of how to play the character (who is a loser pretending to be a winner in a simulation). But his hilarious (and I mean bonkers hilarious) dance scene is enough for me to give him some credit. So all that alone seems better than BMT qualification. That said I hated the twist and thought the whole simulation angle was pretty ridiculous and cliche. So basically change everything about the last third and it’s probably a pretty good movie. As it is, it’s a decidedly mediocre film with some really great performances.
Hot Take Clam Bake! Are we sure the simulation is bad? Hear me out. Obviously the specific situation that Pugh is in is horrible, but think about this: Styles is a giant loser. Like a super huge loser. And yet on whatever loser salary he can earn he is able to earn the pleasure for two people to enjoy what seems like a pretty sexy simulation life. You could have a lovely couple work half as hard as giant loser Styles, finish up their days, smooch, take care of their own bodily functions like normal couple do and then drop into their creepy Clockwork Orange bed and enjoy sexy food, sexy drink, and sexy sex in the sexy 50’s world they have at their fingertips. It’s good. That’s probably why Pine is killed by his wife at the end out of nowhere. She probably was like, “this idiot is running a genius simulation into the ground by marketing exclusively to giant losers!” She probably programmed all of it and is horrified by his poor job as CEO and so has to kill him. Hot Take Temperature: Lemon Pepper. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Don’t Worry Darling? I think I will worry thank you very much, but exclusively about the production troubles of this film. Let’s go!
- This movie obviously has not only a kernel of something good in it, it has the kernel of something great. Like 60% of this film is great.
- It is totally let down by the end though. The biggest crime isn’t even the weirdo twist that Harry Styles sucks and has forced his wife into a simulation against her will. That is just a pretty generic (and easily predicted) twist. The biggest issue is just like … why does the wife kill Chris Pine again? It seems totally unmotivated. As if they didn’t know quite how to end the movie after the reveal and so they had to figure out some reason for Pugh to truly extract herself from the situation without begging for a sequel to resolve this loose thread concerning Pine’s company and world crashing down around him.
- It begs the question so hard that my mind can’t even really wrap itself around the full picture of the film after seeing it. I can’t square the circle. There is basically no indication of any sort of motivation for the wife to kill Pine. No friction. No concern over the direction of the company. Nothing about her being a victim in the affair as well (although that is the easiest explanation). If you cut out just that bit I think I could psych myself into liking the film quite a lot. With that bit though I can’t help but admit that it is, at best, merely a below average thriller with uninteresting sci-fi ideas.
- Pugh is incredible in this film, and it is a bit sad that it will probably go unrecognized.
- And Wilde’s direction is at worst fine, at best quite good. There are some reviews which suggest it is something amateurish or something? I don’t buy it. The set design and way it is shot is solid.
- Worst Twist (How?) is all I got for this one, for the sci-fi reveal of Styles having trapped his wife in a simulation where he gets to live out his dream of not being a huge loser. Closest to Good easily, really just a step away from it.
- Live Theater review time. I think this is the first ever BMT Live where both Jamie and I were in the same theater. I think he would agree that the AMC Framingham is quite good. I really have very very little complaints having gone there now probably a dozen times. It is so much better than most other theater experiences I’ve had over the years for BMT that it is kind of boring even to review it. It is a solid theater, with comfy seats, and I rarely experience problems with people talking and junk. It’s good.
I’ll leave it there. Check out the description of the sequel Keep on Not Worrying Darling in the Quiz. Cheerios,