Florence Pugh (Midsommar, Little Women) stars as a 1950s happy housewife living in an experimental desert paradise where the women cook and clean by day, host parties by night, and have sex with their husbands in-between. But she has a hard time shaking certain dreams and memories, especially after witnessing one of her fellow happy housewives commit violent suicide. Much to the consternation of her husband (Harry Styles), best friend (Olivia Wilde), and the community’s creator/founder (Chris Pine), Pugh follows her curiosity to a very dark and deadly place.
Don’t Worry Darling owes far too much to The Stepford Wives without bringing much new to the table. It also takes far, far too long for Pugh to put two and two together in discovering the secret behind her utopian existence. The build-up is so immense, that no reveal could ever fully satisfy. What makes the film worth checking out, however, is its star and its director. Pugh is sensational (as always), especially in a role that summons all the weapons in her acting arsenal. And director Olivia Wilde (also noteworthy in her supporting performance) directs the ever-living shit out of this genre piece. She nails the escapism, the dread, the suspense, and the paranoia, and manages to conjure some wonderfully cinematic moments, both visually and dramatically. Matthew Libatique’s cinematography and John Powell’s score are also standouts. With KiKi Layne and Gemma Chan.