Kyle sits in his study tapping his chin, deep in thought. It’s been over four years since the disappearance of the Bad Movie Twins. He opens his desk drawer to take a glance at the Dongle. It’s sat there untouched since that day. Jamie and Patrick spent every day of their lives trying to make sure it never fell into the wrong hands, yet he’s done nothing and nobody seems to care. Not a suspicious knock at his door, not a Predator, Demon box, or even Scott Bakula showing up on his doorstep. It’s been downright pleasant. “You looking at it again?” Rachel asks from the doorway. Kyle closes it quickly and smiles. “Yeah, I just… I don’t know what to do with it,” he says with a sad note in his voice, “I wish they were back so they could take it off my hands.” Rachel squeezes his shoulder and shakes her head. “No,” she says, “you just wish they were back.” It’s true. His life is great. Great wife, great kids, great house, and a hit Sexy Mannequin centric website that has taken him around the world. But every time he looks in that drawer he can’t help but think he failed them. “You didn’t fail them,” Rachel says firmly, “you’ll get them back. And if you don’t, it’s because they didn’t want to be found. It seems like it’s safer in your hands than it was in theirs.” Kyle nods. “Safer in our hands,” he corrects with a smile. And it’s true, but he’d never say it himself. He opens the drawer a crack one more time and steals a glance. After shutting it he promises he’ll never look at it again and this time he’ll keep that promise. “Don’t worry darling,” Rachel says… and he doesn’t. That’s right! We’re taking a little interlude for a classic BMT Live! Sometimes you gotta jump on the chance to see something even if it qualifies by the skin of its teeth. Don’t Worry Darling has had such a tumultuous press tour that it transformed from Oscar contender to BMT hopeful before our eyes. I’m excited. Let’s go!
Don’t Worry Darling (2022) – BMeTric: 20.9; Notability: 28
StreetCreditReport.com – BMeTric: top 11.2%; Notability: top 3.6%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 22.1%; Higher BMeT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Brazen, The Bubble, Moonfall, Firestarter, They/Them, Blacklight, Morbius, Me Time, Pinocchio, Spiderhead, Deep Water, Umma, Senior Year, The 355, Jurassic World Dominion, The Invitation, White Elephant, Samaritan, Memory, and 8 more; Higher Notability: Jurassic World Dominion, Pinocchio, Morbius, Amsterdam, The Bubble, Moonfall, Deep Water, The Man from Toronto, Spiderhead; Lower RT: After Ever Happy, Me Time, Blacklight, Firestarter, Brazen, White Elephant, Morbius, Paradise Highway, Home Team, The Bubble, The Man from Toronto, Senior Year, Murder at Yellowstone City, The 355, The Invitation, Pinocchio, Memory, Black Site, Alice, Jurassic World Dominion, and 11 more; Notes: The numbers will be a bit weird since it just came out. Notability is where it shines I suppose, which makes sense.
RogerEbert.com – 2.0 stars – The craft on display is impeccable, though, from the gleaming cinematography from Matthew Libatique (Darren Aronofsky’s usual collaborator) to the flawless production design from Katie Byron to the to-die-for costumes from Arianne Phillips. The excellent work of all those behind-the-scenes folks and others at least makes “Don’t Worry Darling” consistently watchable, all the way up to its non-ending of an ending. Let’s just say you’ll have questions afterward, and those post-movie conversations will probably be more thoughtful and stimulating than the movie itself.
(I basically agree with this review. It is very very competently made. But the ending is pretty silly and leaves more mostly dumb questions than actually interesting questions. But it also probably doesn’t end up here if not for the multiple controversies surrounding the production.)
(It is a great trailer. Every time I saw it I figured this was going to be at the very worst a decent Oscar contender for some of the people involved. Alas, it probably misses. The only one I could imagine now is Pugh, but that is probably not in the cards because of her refusal to promote the film.)
Directors – Olivia Wilde – ( Known For: Booksmart; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; Notes: Booksmart is awesome, and as an actress I always thought she was great (shoutout to The O.C.). Too bad this is her sophomore effort. Yeah … she publicly got served divorce papers while promoting this film and was dating Harry Styles while separated I think. That and having Shia LeBeouf quit and calling Pugh “Miss Flo” was part of the controversy surrounding the film.)
Writers – Katie Silberman – ( Known For: Booksmart; Set It Up; Isn’t It Romantic; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; Notes: Seems to be making a career on making films that parody genres or turn them on their head. In a way this could have been no different, a take on The Stepford Wives, but seems to have fallen short.)
Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke – ( Known For: The Silence; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; Chernobyl Diaries; Notes: Chernobyl Diaries to this? That is a bizarre trajectory. Oh and yeah, they are the grandsons of Dick Van Dyke.)
Actors – Florence Pugh – ( Known For: Midsommar; Little Women; Black Widow; The Wonder; Fighting with My Family; Outlaw King; Lady Macbeth; The Commuter; Malevolent; The Falling; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; Notes: Her career is amazing. MCU, indie horror, indie adaptation of a beloved novel. Honestly a bit sad to see this as her first BMT. It is so borderline that without the drama it probably wouldn’t have qualified at all.)
Harry Styles – ( Known For: My Policeman; Eternals; Dunkirk; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; Notes: Yeah, he’s really trying the acting thing. He is obviously famous as a singer, both solo and as part of One Direction, but he has been slowly building up his parts in real films. Yeah … he started dating Olivia Wilde during filming, and then possibly spit on Chris Pine during an awards ceremony. That about sums up the controversy surrounding the film.)
Chris Pine – ( Known For: All the Old Knives; Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Wonder Woman; The Contractor; Star Trek; Star Trek Beyond; Wonder Woman 1984; Hell or High Water; Outlaw King; Unstoppable; Into the Woods; Star Trek Into Darkness; Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit; A Wrinkle in Time; The Finest Hours; Rise of the Guardians; Carriers; Bottle Shock; Z for Zachariah; People Like Us; Future BMT: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement; Smokin’ Aces; Horrible Bosses 2; Just My Luck; BMT: Don’t Worry Darling; This Means War; Notes: Chris Pine is great, although All the Old Knives? Not great, I watched that a few months ago. He felt like he was disappearing a bit recently. I do really hope he can get another Star Trek cooking at some point.)
Budget/Gross – $35 million / Domestic: $44,344,233 (Worldwide: $83,044,233)
(This is fine in the end. I think it certainly made up the budget. They were probably going for a $100 million worldwide take (something like $50 domestic), but it didn’t miss too badly.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 38% (120/315): Despite an intriguing array of talent on either side of the camera, Don’t Worry Darling is a mostly muddled rehash of overly familiar themes.
(Juuuuuust barely. It is almost a certainty without the controversy it would be sitting somewhere closer to 50%, which is where I think it would fairly sit in the end as well.)
Reviewer Highlight: A cheap parlor trick…Pugh gives her all to even the weakest scenes, but leading man Styles struggles to keep up. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
Poster – I’m Not Worried, You’re Worried
(This is my least favorite style of poster. Too old school. Never has a good color scheme. Font is terrible… but this is also how you sell your movie. Pugh is beautiful. Styles gets the ladies going. Everyone is rolling into the theater to see whatever that poster is promising. I grade that an SS… as in Sex Sells.)
Tagline(s) – Are you ready to live the life you deserve? (D+)
(Eeehhhhh. I don’t like that. I’m actually a little confused as to how it pertains to the actual movie. I mean, that’s not really the plot of the movie, before or after the twist. But that’s not the crime. The crime is that it’s boring.)
Keyword(s) – Year 2022
Top 10: The Batman (2022), The Kashmir Files (2022), Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Top Gun: Maverick (2022), Thor: Love and Thunder (2022), Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022), The Adam Project (2022), Uncharted (2022), The Northman (2022), The Gray Man (2022)
Future BMT: 62.2 Firestarter (2022), 61.8 Blacklight (2022), 52.0 Radhe Shyam (2022), 47.8 Umma (2022), 45.5 The 355 (2022), 44.2 Jurassic World Dominion (2022), 43.2 The Invitation (2022), 39.3 Memory (2022), 37.2 After Ever Happy (2022), 33.6 The King’s Daughter (2022), 7.1 Where the Crawdads Sing (2022)
BMT: Moonfall (2022), Morbius (2022), Don’t Worry Darling (2022)
(Decent haul this year, 14 films so far. Still far from the typical 30ish films we’d hope for as a minimum, but still better than we’d expect. The plot is useless because it is just a bit bar at 2022 and that’s it.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 22) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Chris Pine is No. 3 billed in Don’t Worry Darling and No. 2 billed in This Means War, which also stars Reese Witherspoon (No. 1 billed) who is in Devil’s Knot (No. 1 billed) which also stars Bruce Greenwood (No. 9 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 6 billed) => (3 + 2) + (1 + 1) + (9 + 6) = 22. If we were to watch Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde we can get the HoE Number down to 16.
Notes – The hilltop headquarters of the Victory Corporation is the iconic “volcano house” in the Mojave Desert community of Newberry Springs, California. The house was owned by PBS television personality Huell Howser, who donated the house to Chapman University in 2012 shortly before his death.
Olivia Wilde originally wanted to play the lead role but decided to cast Florence Pugh after seeing her in Midsommar (2019).
Frank, the Victory Project’s leader, is shown living in Kaufmann House, one of the most well-known mid-century homes in the world. Although the Kaufmann House’s exterior has been shown at various times over the years in both film and TV, “Don’t Worry Darling” is the first film to feature scenes shot on the property itself, including several peeks at its rarely seen interiors.
While introducing the trailer to an audience at CinemaCon in April 2022, Olivia Wilde was angered when she was interrupted on stage by a process server handing her custody papers from her ex-fiancé Jason Sudeikis. Sudeikis responded later that he had no idea that was going to happen and said he’d never have condoned it being served in “such an inappropriate manner.”
Although the film is set in a place described only as “Victory Town” onscreen, it’s very clearly set – and its exteriors were filmed – in Palm Springs, California, from which most of its interior design is directly derived. The city has one of the largest caches of mid-century-modern (MCM) architecture & design in the world, and nearby every single visual element in the film draws heavily from the MCM aesthetic.
Reports of conflicts among the cast circulated the media for weeks leading up to the film’s premiere. Shia LaBeouf was originally cast as Jack but was replaced with Harry Styles in September 2020, one month before filming began. LaBeouf’s departure was first attributed to a scheduling conflict, but Variety reported in December that he was fired due to poor behavior and frequent clashes with Olivia Wilde and the cast, pointing out Wilde’s “zero asshole policy” and LaBeouf’s reputation for being difficult to work with. The controversy was revived in August 2022, when Wilde said in a Variety interview that LaBeouf’s process and style were too combative for the production while still wishing him well. LaBeouf then disputed the reports that he was fired, claiming that he quit despite Wilde’s efforts to keep him on. A video message in which Wilde asks LaBeouf not to quit the film while alluding to conflicts with Florence Pugh was leaked online. Rumors of tension between Wilde and Pugh were exacerbated after The Wrap reported that Pugh would not participate in the film’s press tour due to her commitments filming Dune: Part Two (2023).
In the script Bunny was present in the dinner table scene, but Olivia Wilde removed her character from the scene so she could direct from behind the camera.
This film’s script first appeared on the 2019 Black List. Olivia Wilde’s previous film Booksmart (2019) was also a Black List script.
Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde reportedly started dating while working on this film.