Don't Worry Darling

Don't Worry Darling

2022, R, 123 min. Directed by Olivia Wilde. Starring Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, Nick Kroll, Kiki Layne.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Sept. 23, 2022

Before everything goes haywire in a thriller, it helps to see the halcyon days first. Don’t Worry Darling’s version is a doozy. It’s midcentury America. Palm Springs chic. At a dinner party, everybody is drunk and horny and grooving to the record player. Housewife Alice Chambers (Pugh) adores her life and most especially her husband, Jack Chambers (Styles), a golden god rapidly ascending the ranks at work. To outward appearances, it’s a charmed existence.

Of course, appearances can be deceiving – and usually are in films presenting as psychological thrillers. The era is slippery. The divine cinched waist dresses and gingham patterns read Fifties, the soundtrack cues mostly Sixties, then Alice starts to have a recurring vision ripped straight from Busby Berkeley’s 1930s film playbook. The location projects mystery, too: a desert community where all the men work on the top-secret Victory Project and all their wives dutifully keep house, the town is rimmed on all sides by mountains the women are forbidden from crossing. When Alice scans the horizon 360 degrees, the effect is a little like she’s living in the bottom of a fishbowl.

The comparison tracks, not only because Alice is starting to suspect something fishy is going on at the Victory Project, but because the film itself has invited such rabid, bug-eyed scrutiny. Don’t Worry Darling obviously wants to say something impactful about the way men and women strain under gender expectations; ironically, the discourse around the movie – including reports of a troubled production, then a disastrous promotional run – is ultimately more fruitful material than what wound up on screen.

What wound up on screen – as realized by director Olivia Wilde and screenwriters Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke, and Katie Silberman (who wrote Wilde’s directorial debut, the sparky 2019 teen comedy Booksmart) – is smoke and mirrors and not much else: all mystery and no psychology, an embarrassingly bad “reveal” with all the sophistication of an undergraduate thesis paper, and a rush to the exit to not have to explain the mechanics of what’s transpired. Which is a goddamn shame, because there is so much to like here, most especially Matthew Libatique’s cinematography, the immaculate production and costume design, and a handful of terrific performances, including Chris Pine (the best Chris, typecast as a charismatic cult leader), Wilde as Alice’s mouthy best friend, and Pugh herself, holding the camera’s gaze like a dare and dominating every frame of the film.

But the gap between potential and payoff here is a chasm. A swing and a miss is too timid a dismissal. It’s a sumptuously dressed table that ends in a wet fart.

Showtimes

Wed., Oct. 5

12:40, 3:50, 7:20, 9:40

Thu., Oct. 6

1:10, 4:20, 7:30, 10:40

Wed., Oct. 5

12:10, 3:20, 6:30

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Wed., Oct. 5

11:45am, 3:30, 6:45

Thu., Oct. 6

3:50, 7:05, 10:20

Fri., Oct. 7

3:50, 7:05, 10:20

Sat., Oct. 8

12:55, 4:15, 7:25, 10:55

Sun., Oct. 9

12:30, 3:50, 7:05

Mon., Oct. 10

12:30, 3:45, 7:00

Tue., Oct. 11

3:45, 7:00

Wed., Oct. 5

3:20, 6:35, 9:50

Fri., Oct. 7

3:05, 6:15, 7:45, 9:30

Sat., Oct. 8

11:30am, 1:40, 2:50, 6:15, 7:45, 9:30

Sun., Oct. 9

11:05am, 1:10, 2:40, 6:40, 7:45, 9:55

Mon., Oct. 10

3:05, 6:15, 7:45, 9:30

Tue., Oct. 11

4:05, 7:15, 7:45, 10:30

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson #701, 512/861-7030, www.drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Wed., Oct. 5

12:15, 2:55, 6:05, 6:30

Thu., Oct. 6

4:20, 7:30, 9:15

Fri., Oct. 7

4:20, 7:30, 10:45

Sat., Oct. 8

1:15, 4:20, 7:30, 10:05

Sun., Oct. 9

1:15, 4:20, 7:30

Mon., Oct. 10

1:05, 4:20, 7:30

Tue., Oct. 11

1:05

AMC Dine-In Tech Ridge 10

12625 N. I-35, 512/640-1533, www.amctheatres.com

Wed., Oct. 5

CC 2:00, 5:00, 8:00
CC/DVS 2:00, 5:00, 8:00

Thu., Oct. 6

CC 2:15, 5:30, 8:30
CC/DVS 2:15, 5:30, 8:30

Fri., Oct. 7

CC/DVS 3:00, 7:45, 10:15

Sat., Oct. 8

CC/DVS 2:15, 5:30, 8:30

Sun., Oct. 9

CC/DVS 12:45, 3:45, 7:00, 10:00

Mon., Oct. 10

CC/DVS 5:00, 8:15

Tue., Oct. 11

CC/DVS 5:15, 8:15

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 Capital of Texas Hwy. S., 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Wed., Oct. 5

CC 12:45, 1:45, 4:45, 7:15
CC/DVS 12:45, 1:45, 4:45, 7:15

Thu., Oct. 6

CC 1:15, 4:15, 7:15

Fri., Oct. 7

CC/DVS 1:15, 4:15, 7:15

Sat., Oct. 8

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:30, 5:30, 8:30

Sun., Oct. 9

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:30, 5:30, 8:30

Mon., Oct. 10

CC/DVS 1:15, 4:15, 7:15

Tue., Oct. 11

CC/DVS 1:15, 4:15, 7:15

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Wed., Oct. 5

digital 11:55am, 1:30, 4:35, 7:40, 10:45

Thu., Oct. 6

digital 11:55am, 1:30, 4:35, 7:40, 10:45

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 5

digital 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 10:10

Thu., Oct. 6

digital 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 10:10

Fri., Oct. 7

digital 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:10

Sat., Oct. 8

digital 10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:10

Sun., Oct. 9

digital 10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:10

Mon., Oct. 10

digital 12:10, 4:00, 7:00, 10:10

Tue., Oct. 11

digital 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:10

Wed., Oct. 5

digital 4:20, 7:25

Thu., Oct. 6

digital 4:20, 7:25

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 5

digital 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30

Thu., Oct. 6

digital 12:00, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 5

digital 12:50, 3:50, 9:35

Thu., Oct. 6

digital 1:05, 4:05, 7:05, 10:05

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Wed., Oct. 5

digital 4:05, 7:05

Thu., Oct. 6

digital 4:45, 7:45

Wed., Oct. 5

1:00, 4:20, 7:00

Thu., Oct. 6

1:00, 4:25, 7:00

Fri., Oct. 7

1:30, 4:40, 6:50, 10:25

Sat., Oct. 8

10:40am, 1:30, 4:40, 6:50, 10:25

Sun., Oct. 9

10:40am, 1:30, 4:40, 6:50

Mon., Oct. 10

1:30, 4:40, 6:50

Tue., Oct. 11

1:30, 4:40, 6:50

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Wed., Oct. 5

1:15, 4:15, 7:05

Fri., Oct. 7

1:45, 4:35, 7:10, 10:05

Sat., Oct. 8

1:45, 4:35, 7:10, 10:05

Sun., Oct. 9

1:45, 4:35, 7:10

Mon., Oct. 10

1:45, 4:35, 7:10

Tue., Oct. 11

1:45, 4:35, 7:10

Evo Cinemas Belterra

166 Hargraves Ste. A-100, 512/457-0700, www.evocinemas.com/belterra

Wed., Oct. 5

11:00am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30

Thu., Oct. 6

11:00am, 2:00, 5:00, 8:00

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Wed., Oct. 5

11:00am, 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 8:15, 9:20

Fri., Oct. 7

10:15am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 10:15

Sat., Oct. 8

10:15am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 10:15

Sun., Oct. 9

9:45am, 12:45, 3:45, 6:45, 9:45

Mon., Oct. 10

11:00am, 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:20

Tue., Oct. 11

11:00am, 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:20

Film Alley Bastrop

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, bastrop.filmalley.net/

Wed., Oct. 5

12:35, 4:00, 7:15

Thu., Oct. 6

12:00, 3:45, 7:45

Fri., Oct. 7

7:30, 10:50

Sat., Oct. 8

7:30, 10:50

Sun., Oct. 9

6:20

Mon., Oct. 10

6:20

Tue., Oct. 11

6:15

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Wed., Oct. 5

11:30am, 3:00, 6:15, 9:30

Thu., Oct. 6

12:00, 2:45, 5:45, 9:45

Fri., Oct. 7

1:00, 2:30, 7:30, 10:15

Sat., Oct. 8

12:45, 2:15, 7:30, 10:15

Sun., Oct. 9

12:45, 2:15, 7:30, 10:15

Mon., Oct. 10

12:45, 2:15, 7:30, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 11

12:45, 2:15, 7:30, 10:15

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Wed., Oct. 5

CC 1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 10:15

Thu., Oct. 6

CC 1:15, 4:15

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 5

CC 12:35, 3:50, 7:10
CC/DVS 12:35, 3:50, 7:10

Thu., Oct. 6

CC 12:35, 3:50, 7:10
CC/DVS 12:35, 3:50, 7:10

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Wed., Oct. 5

4:40, 7:20

Fri., Oct. 7

4:20, 10:15

Sat., Oct. 8

4:30, 10:05

Sun., Oct. 9

4:30

Mon., Oct. 10

4:30

Tue., Oct. 11

4:30

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Wed., Oct. 5

6:30, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 6

7:00, 10:15

Fri., Oct. 7

3:30, 7:00, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 8

12:15, 3:30, 7:00, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 9

12:15, 3:45, 7:00, 10:30

Mon., Oct. 10

12:30, 3:45, 7:00

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Wed., Oct. 5

CC 1:15, 4:30, 7:45
CC/DVS 1:15, 4:30, 7:45

Thu., Oct. 6

CC 1:45, 5:00, 8:00

Fri., Oct. 7

CC/DVS 2:00, 5:00, 8:00

Sat., Oct. 8

CC/DVS 1:15, 4:15, 7:15

Sun., Oct. 9

CC/DVS 1:15, 4:15, 7:15

Mon., Oct. 10

CC/DVS 2:00, 5:00, 8:00

Tue., Oct. 11

CC/DVS 2:00, 5:00, 8:00

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 5

CC 4:05, 7:15
CC/DVS 4:05, 7:15

Thu., Oct. 6

CC 4:05, 7:15
CC/DVS 4:05, 7:15

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 FM 620 N., Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Wed., Oct. 5

12:30, 3:45, 7:00, 8:00, 9:30

Thu., Oct. 6

11:15am, 12:00, 5:00, 6:00, 8:00

Fri., Oct. 7

1:00, 4:15, 7:00, 9:00

Sat., Oct. 8

1:00, 4:15, 7:00, 9:00

Sun., Oct. 9

1:00, 4:15, 7:00, 9:00

Mon., Oct. 10

1:00, 4:15, 7:00, 9:00

Tue., Oct. 11

1:00, 4:15, 7:00, 9:00

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Pkwy., Bldg. 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Wed., Oct. 5

11:00am, 2:30, 6:00, 9:30

Thu., Oct. 6

10:30am, 1:45, 5:00, 8:15

Southwest Theaters at Lake Creek 7

13729 Research #1500, 512/291-3158, www.southwesttheaters.com

$6.50 children and senior tickets (all-day), $5 Tuesdays (all tickets), Bargain Matinees before 5pm daily.

Wed., Oct. 5

CC 4:00, 7:00

Thu., Oct. 6

CC 4:00, 7:00

Wed., Oct. 5

12:45, 3:45, 6:45, 9:45

Thu., Oct. 6

12:45, 3:45, 6:45, 9:45

Fri., Oct. 7

1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 8

10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 9

1:15, 2:30, 5:30, 8:30

Mon., Oct. 10

1:15, 2:30, 5:30, 8:30

Tue., Oct. 11

1:15, 2:30, 5:30, 8:30

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 5

CC 1:00, 2:00, 4:00, 7:00, 7:45
CC/DVS 1:00, 2:00, 4:00, 7:00, 7:45

Thu., Oct. 6

CC 1:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:30, 7:30
CC/DVS 1:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:30, 7:30

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Don't Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde, Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, Nick Kroll, Kiki Layne

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