Don’t Worry Darling Parent Guide
This production nails its vintage aesthetic but the script bites off way more than it manages to chew.
Parent Movie Review
Living in idyllic 50’s suburbia, Alice (Florence Pugh) and her husband, Jack (Harry Styles), seem to have it all. A modern home, beautiful clothes, a nice car, and lovely neighbors. Alice spends her days cleaning the house and cooking, before going off shopping, drinking, dancing, and gossiping with the other neighborhood wives. Their husbands work at the secretive Victory Project, which also developed the town in which they live. At Victory’s head is Frank (Chris Pine), a handsome, hardworking, and charismatic leader, who has earned the respect and admiration of everyone in town. But when Alice’s friend Margaret (KiKi Lane) begins to voice her questions about exactly what the project is, and what they’re all doing in this little town in the middle of the desert, Alice begins to wonder why there’s so much secrecy about Jack’s work. In a society built on secrecy and deception, questions are the worst crime…
Tackling topics like gender roles, misogyny, and modern demagoguery is a big job for any film, let alone one which has received more press about the bizarre interpersonal conflicts going on behind the camera than it has for the actual film. While those topics certainly deserve to be discussed, and the film’s premise is interesting, I’m not convinced that it manages to chew all it bites off here.
Now, if you just want to revel in a two-hour style magazine for the fifties, or you love the idea of Florence Pugh in retro dresses, I’m sure you’ll have a good time. Don’t Worry Darling delivers vintage aesthetic with flair. And Pugh is certainly doing her darndest to make things work, much to her credit. But there’s a lot going on in the script, and the film only ever manages to answer about 30% of the questions it raises – intentionally or otherwise. While that could feel mysterious and exciting in the right context, in this one it’s merely frustrating.
And then there are the content concerns, which are probably going to stick with parents more than any deficiencies in the script. Apart from the characters merrily drinking their way through life with an alcohol tolerance that would make Churchill envious, there are several sex scenes and a decent amount of profanity. Credit where credit is due, there’s rather less cussing than I expected, but I don’t think that’s going to get parents to overlook the enthusiastic sex on the kitchen table. Griping aside, I actually had a bit of fun with the film, but I suggest that you don’t expect much more than a new coat of polish on The Stepford Wives, because that’s all you’re going to get.
Directed by Olivia Wilde. Starring Olivia Wilde, Florence Pugh, Chris Pine. Running time: 122 minutes. Theatrical release September 23, 2022. Updated September 27, 2022
Watch the trailer for Don’t Worry DarlingThe trailer contains material unsuited to a family website.
Don’t Worry Darling
Rating & Content Info
Why is Don’t Worry Darling rated R? Don’t Worry Darling is rated R by the MPAA for sexuality, violent content and language.
Violence: There are frequent scenes of women being physically or emotionally abused by their husbands. A woman is gaslit and starts to question her own sanity. A woman covers her face in plastic wrap. A character commits suicide by cutting their throat and jumping from a roof. A person is subjected to electroshock therapy. A character is bludgeoned to death. Someone is hit with a car. There are threats of murder and bodily harm.
Sexual Content: Characters are shown having sex on several occasions, with fairly involved details but without graphic nudity.
Profanity: There are ten sexual expletives, several scatological curses, and occasional uses of terms of deity and mild profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are constantly seen drinking or smoking tobacco.
Page last updated September 27, 2022
Don’t Worry Darling Parents' Guide
Director Olivia Wilde has said that she based Frank on Jordan Peterson. Who is Peterson? What kind of online following has he attracted? How has he developed that following? What are some criticisms of Peterson’s claims and methods? What does “incel” mean?
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This film has some similarities to Held. Other female led psychological thrillers include Promising Young Woman, Gone Girl, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Black Swan, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Invisible Man, and Last Night in Soho.
The Stepford Wives, which will inevitably be compared to this film, was released in 2017 starring Nicole Kidman and Matthew Broderick.