Was Don’t Worry Darling Worth the Hype?

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Rotten Tomatoes

The poster for the controversial film. Don’t Worry Darling earned a $21 million box office sale during its premiere weekend.

Madison Austin, Editor

On September 23, 2022, one of the most anticipated films of the year was released. A combination of a star-studded cast, healthy controversy, and an intriguing plot inspired the mass general public to flock to theaters around the world to see the long-awaited film. Across every single social media platform, users anticipated the release of the Don’t Worry Darling, and now that it has been released, it seems as though everyone has something to say about it.

Before any controversies arose or there were any extraordinary factors to promote the film, it maintained one single aspect that would all but guarantee box office success–Harry Styles. When it was announced that the international pop icon would be starring in the film, millions of Harry Styles aficionados around the world became engrossed and obsessed with the film, vowing to view the movie on opening weekend. 

In addition to Harry Styles’ appeal to prominence, several other prevalent and well-known actors graced the cast list with their appearances. Florence Pugh, the leading actress in the film, has been a fairly-well known actress for the past few years in the world of Hollywood. Similarly, Chris Pine, a well-known actor, brought in a plethora of fans, as he has been an LA favorite for almost two decades. Gemma Chan, famous for her roles in Crazy Rich Asians and Eternals, was also featured in the cast list, exciting fans all over the world.

Furthermore, Harry Styles’ romantic interests have been of much public interest since the start of his rise to fame, and coincidentally, his most recent and prominent rumored relationship was announced right at the start of Don’t Worry Darling’s publicity run. To add flame to the fire, the woman with whom he was rumored to be in a relationship was none other than the director and costar of the film, Olivia Wilde. 

As the release date of the film grew closer and closer, controversy steadily increased, as rumors of Olivia Wilde interrupting a budding romance between Pugh and Styles came to light. While there was never any substance to these rumors, fans were quick to believe that Wilde had behaved in some immoral fashion. At that same time, a video surfaced where Styles appears to spit at Pine, and while there was never any confirmation of this so-called “spitgate,” many fans believe there to be much more going on behind the scenes than the fans will ever know. Ryan Oh (12) recalls this being “the most hype there’s been about a movie” in a long time.

This is the most hype there’s been about a movie in a long time.”

— Ryan Oh (12)

While there’s never any such thing as bad publicity, there was one string attached with this prominent press tour for Don’t Worry Darling–unrealistic expectations. The more and more publicity this film developed, the higher the expectations grew for the film. Fan clubs, Reddit groups, and conspiracy theorists alike awaited the film and collectively made attempts to figure out the plot of the drama.

The movie tells a feminist tale of a 1950’s housewife whose picture-perfect life is revealed to be less than idyllic behind the scenes. The movie seems to be a clean-cut romance; however, after the introduction, chilling jump scares, intriguing plot twists and strategic music choices lead the move in a more mysterious direction. Protagonist Alice navigates her way through her mundane life at home in the 1950s to discover that every overlooked aspect is more than it seems.

With all of the rising anticipation, the film came to fruition on September 23, 2022, when Don’t Worry Darling hit theaters across the United States. Critically, it received a 36% on the movie review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes (rottentomatoes.com). The audience rated the movie 75% on that same site. Scott Tobias, of The Reveal, called the film “merely pedestrian” and commented that it felt slow and lengthy (The Reveal).