The first reviews of Harry Styles’ new movie Don’t Worry Darling are emerging from the Venice Film Festival…and they’re not too positive. The drama movie has been the source of much social media gossip recently, so is the focus of some intense scrutiny. It stars Florence Pugh and is directed by Olivia Wilde, whose last film was the successful comedy movie Booksmart.
Even the reviews at the more positive end of the spectrum are somewhat muted. Pete Hammond of Deadline says it’s “actually quite entertaining if you’re in the mood.” Owen Gleiberman’s Variety review is mostly positive, but also acknowledges that “the movie takes you on a ride that gets progressively less scintillating as it goes along.”
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter says that Don’t Worry Darling is “like a Black Mirror episode that should have been sent back to the writers’ room for another pass or two.” The Guardian offers the movie two stars, and Empire awards three. Peter Bradshaw agrees with Rooney and says; “serious script work needed to be done on filling in the plot-holes and problems in a fantastically silly twist-reveal.”
Kate Erbland of IndieWire is one of the few women at any of the big publications assigned to cover this movie that seemingly has a heavy-handed feminist message. Erbland is effusive in her praise for Florence Pugh, but says that pretty much nothing else in the film works. She says that it “starts off strong before crumbling into baffling storytelling choices made worse by the revolting intentions behind them.”
Helen O’Hara of Empire says that the film has “big ideas…but not all are fully formed.” The ending seems to be the main issue for most reviewers, with many agreeing with O’Hara that it “doesn’t quite stick the landing.”
Harry Styles is a busy man, as he also has a film premiering at the Toronto Film Festival – My Policeman. Don’t Worry Darling is set for release on September 23, 2022, so there isn’t long before the public can watch it and form their own opinions.
While we wait, check out our guide to the best science fiction movies.