I slid into my seat at a New York screening of Don’t Worry Darling last week still dehydrated and sleep-deprived after dancing in the glittery pit of a Harry Styles concert the night before. Alas, the only cure for my plummeting serotonin levels was more Styles: I was there to see how the pop/rock star fares in his first major acting role after a bit part in 2017’s Dunkirk; curious about the much-advertised scene in which he watermelon sugars with Florence Pugh.
As a shameless fan, I came in with an open, charitable heart, absolutely rooting for Styles. As a culture writer, I was intrigued about the film everyone is talking, tweeting, meme-ing and gossiping about, and how Styles fits into it. Should I worry, darling, about Styles’s nascent acting career?
Don’t Worry Darling transports audiences to suspiciously superficial Victory, U.S.A., home of the shadowy Victory Project. It is at once a candy-coloured nightmare in which Pugh’s Alice, Wilde’s Bunny, and a merry band of housewives are gaslit into obedience, and a pleasant (for some) chauvinist commune in the desert, masterminded by a cult-y Chris Pine. The ladies are encouraged to get sauced, loll by the pool, and sex their one-dimensionally handsome husbands after they stroll in from a hard day at the office. Chief among them is Styles’s Jack, partner to Alice, who is too sharp for her own good.