Questions We Still Have About 'Don't Worry Darling'
Olivia Wilde, please answer our calls
I am no longer worried, darling. After finally seeing Don’t Worry Darling this past weekend, the more accurate descriptor would probably be confused, or maybe frustrated. All that behind the scenes drama for a movie that is like, a C+ at best? Like most middling thrillers, Don’t Worry Darling leaves us with a bunch of questions that will never receive satisfying answers. That won’t stop us from asking them, though.
*** Major Spoilers Ahead ***
Why the hell was Olivia Wilde on a soapbox about “female pleasure”?
By now you know that Alice (Florence Pugh) had been put into a 1950s simulation by her incel-adjacent boyfriend Jack (Harry Styles) because he hated the fact that she was a successful doctor or something. Frankly, it does not hold together well as a plot point, and the reveal of a suddenly American, adult acne-suffering Harry Styles elicited chuckles in the theater. The twist falls apart even more when you start thinking about how sex is depicted in the movie. We are supposed to believe that Jack kidnapped Alice and put her into the simulation so he could eat her out on the dining room table and finger her at his boss’s house?
“Men don’t come in this film,” Wilde told Variety last month. “Why are we more comfortable with female pleasure when it’s two women on film? In hetero sex scenes in film, the focus on men as the recipients of pleasure is almost ubiquitous.”
A fair-ish point, but not when you are making a movie about men going to extreme lengths to subjugate their female partners. It’s actually insane that we did not see a man come in this movie — you’d think that would be the whole point?
What movie were Kate Berlant and Nick Kroll in?
It wasn’t the same one as everyone else, but I think I would like to see it.
Why do we find out the twist so late in the game?
In the original script — written by Dick Van Dyke’s grandsons, randomly — Florence Pugh’s character finds her way out of the simulation on page 20. In that version, the big question isn’t “What the heck is going on in this weird town?” but rather “How can she get out?” You can only watch Pugh look confused so many times before it gets exhausting. The reason something like The Truman Show works is because the audience knows what’s going on, even if Truman doesn’t get it yet. Why Wilde and screenwriter Katie Silberman thought it would be more intriguing to string us along for an hour and a half is beyond me.
So the men had consciousness of the outside world in the simulation — and so did Olivia Wilde’s character? — but the women didn’t?
Were they just being drugged? But then how did Alice know what was going on at the end? How was it that everything fell apart? The rules of this world don’t make any damn sense.
What scenes with KiKi Layne and Ari’el Stachel were cut?
According to KiKi Layne — who plays Margaret, a housewife who is disappeared after starting to suspect something fishy is afoot in the town of Victory — most of her scenes with her onscreen husband (played by Ari’el Stachel) were cut from the movie. On the bright side, Layne and Stachel got together on set and now seem happier than ever: “They cut us from most of the movie, but we thriving in real life.” Good for them! Perhaps their cut scenes could contain some clues as to what was happening with the myriad plot holes the audience is left with? Speaking of which…
That red plane?
I have to imagine that whatever was going on with that plane crash only Alice could see had something to do with Layne’s character Margaret. We see her walking in the desert with her son, who has a red toy plane. Somehow these things are connected, and we will have to wait 20 years until Don’t Worry Darling achieves true cult status and Wilde gets to release her director’s cut.
Should Wilde return to acting?
She’s good in front of the camera! Behind it, she seems confused.
Where is Jack going all day when he’s at “work”?
He tells Alice that he has to leave every day just to make enough money to keep them in the simulation, but I thought their whole issue beforehand was that he was unemployed. Where did he get a job? Does he work for Chris Pine? Why would you ever give up your girlfriend’s doctor salary just so she can hand you a drink at the end of the day?
More dramatic acting work for Timothy Simons?
This is less a question and more of a request. He was great.