That was the longest Black Mirror episode ever.
Don’t Worry Darling’s media circus was definitely attention-getting, drawing in everyone online like moths to a flame. However, the movie itself isn’t quite as engaging. Don't Worry Darling follows 1950s housewife Alice (Florence Pugh) as she discovers that her perfect world and her perfect husband, Jack (Harry Styles), aren’t what they seem. The highlights of this film were the big twist reveal and the performances from Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, and Gemma Chan. The coloring is bright and eye-catching, as are the costumes and makeup. The idea at the heart of the screenplay is strong, but the writing and directing falter in executing it. And while the other actors give amazing performances, it becomes increasingly clear over the course of the movie that Harry Styles can’t pull his weight. Spoilers ahead.
Let’s get into the Harry Styles dilemma first, since he is undoubtedly one of the biggest selling points for this movie. Styles, unfortunately, flounders in a sea of A-list actors. In the first half of the movie, he does well playing the charismatic husband. But it’s the moments when the reality’s cracks begin to show, when the true darker nature of the real “Jack” is supposed to be slipping through, that he fails to deliver the nuances the character requires. Maybe if he had been acting opposite actors more of his caliber, but the thing is, he’s not. Styles is thrown in the deep end, surrounded by stars whose acting talent totally outshines him, making his performance come off worse while you’re watching than it may actually be.
At one point in my theater, we all began to laugh at him. For what, exactly, I can’t say. It happened when he’s screaming in the car after Alice has been taken, one of the most emotionally intense scenes in the movie (or at least, it’s supposed to be). And yet, there’s something about Styles that makes his attempts at acting out any darker emotion beyond basic lighthearted charm in vain.