Don’t Worry Darling is a singular achievement. Not because it is a good movie — it is, in fact, a bad movie. Aside from Florence Pugh’s transcendent performance, the whole thing basically amounts to a pile of empty pretensions, snipped from greater films and sewn into a suburban-subdivision-shaped quilt. And yet! Nothing has done more for our culture in recent memory.
This is because Don’t Worry Darling, through no effort of its own, gave rise to a spectacular swirl of Tinseltown drama not seen since the coked-up days of the Golden Age. It is hard to explain how majestic this soap opera has become, perhaps because, like all good soaps, it was best watched in real time. Over a series of months, we went from a rumored rift between a director and her lead actor to a tangled web of blood feuds. Planned appearances were canceled. Voice memos were released. Shia LaBeouf reared his head.
If you would like a full accounting of the events, Bustle has a 2,000-word story for you. If you only want the broad strokes, here you go: Before Don’t Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde was an untouchable new directorial talent and one-half of a Hollywood power couple, Harry Styles was a universally beloved pop star on track to become a celebrated actor, Chris Pine had not (allegedly) been spat on, and no one had ever heard the words “Miss Flo.” Fast-forward through a series of pressreports and surreal red carpets, and everyone has been dragged into a fiery, meme-filled inferno of their own design — save Pugh, who’s emerged better than ever, having swapped her undesirable beau Zach Braff for an Aperol spritz. Even Gemma Chan, who has made a career out of giving us nothing, was ensnared in chaos by proximity alone. (True to form, even as a portal to hell threatened to tear apart the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival, Chan gave us nothing. An inscrutable icon.) In sum, we all became more than a little worried, darling.
Which brings us back to the movie itself. The fact that the film falls apart at the slightest prodding, like a shoddy, midcentury tract home, only adds to the grandeur of Don’t Worry Darling’s larger comedy of errors. With that in mind, I have attempted to weave both of these threads together, so that one might be strengthened by the other, in an ultimate accounting of Don’t Worry Darling’s messiness. Here, the twists of the film Don’t Worry Darling, measured against the chaotic events of the Don’t Worry Darling press tour. (Obviously, spoilers ahead.)