Despite all the positive buzz surrounding Olivia Wilde's Don't Worry Darling, the picture has received generally poor reviews from critics ever since its screening at a film festival.
Review Website With a 100% Failure Rate: Rotten Tomatoes
Considering the impressive cast of Don't Worry Darling, it has been met with a surprisingly high percentage of unfavourable reviews.
Booksmart, Olivia Wilde's debut feature as a director, was well received and sparked interest in her foray into the genres of dark drama and suburbia horror.
Don't Worry Darling, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, has received less enthusiastic reviews than some of Wilde's other films.
Considering the talent of Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, what went wrong with the film?
Alice (Pugh), a 1950s suburban housewife living with her husband Jack (Styles), begins to suspect that things are not what they appear in the beginning of Don't Worry Darling.
This thriller boasts an A-list ensemble including Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, and Nick Kroll.
Moreover, it has been mired in controversy, with rumours of a dispute between Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh, accusations of dismissal from the film by Shia LaBeouf, and an apparent spitting incident between Harry Styles and Chris Pine at the premiere.
Contextualized: The Debate Over Don't Worry, Darling and Its Rating
Listen to Harry Styles's "Don't Worry, Darling"
Don't Worry Darling initially generated a lot of buzz due to the impressive cast and promising trailers, but it has since been met with a slew of critically poor reviews.
Don't Worry Darling has a 43% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average reviewer score of 5.3 out of 10.
Reviews have been mixed, although the most common complaints centre around Olivia Wilde's direction, the movie's muddled plot and themes, the film's plodding pace, and Harry Styles' acting.
Here are some excerpts from the reviews that have been critical of Don't Worry Darling:
It's in The Guardian.
"The picture, directed by Olivia Wilde, haughtily steals plot concepts and characters from other movies without investigating their success.
It ruins its own ending by revealing it, demonstrating the necessity for extensive rewriting to address inconsistencies and other issues with a brilliantly ridiculous twist-reveal."
Club de Audiovisual
"In the 1990s, before Truman unlocked the prison cell or Neo ingested the red pill, Don't Worry Darling would have been seen as moderately controversial.
Wilde's picture, however, grafts these ideas onto a banal, you-go-girl structure that, alas, feels all too basic."
"Saying "Don't Worry, Darling" has a twist is a stretch because it is so obviously not set in a wholesome 1950s suburb.
Like the picture itself, it begins off well before collapsing into puzzling storytelling decisions that are made worse by the disgusting intents behind them."
With his flat line delivery and lack of contrast in his interactions with Pugh, "Harry Styles doesn't feel up to the material here."
Every Day Weird
"Styles has trouble keeping up with [Florence Pugh's] all-in fervour.
A scene in which the singer sobs in the car after a very heated argument with Pugh is more replete with crocodile tears than Charlie Sheen's being dragged away from his office by the police at the conclusion of Wall Street (not to mention, his bastardised British accent is distracting)."
Why You Should See Don't Worry, Darling with Florence Pugh
Critics think there are positive aspects to Don't Worry Darling, despite the film's generally poor reaction and the issue of whether Harry Styles actually spit on Chris Pine at the premiere.
Reviews have unanimously praised Florence Pugh, saying her performance is the best in the film.
Many have praised cinematographer Matthew Libatique for his work on the film.
Some of the better things said about Don't Worry, Darling include the following:
Pugh's performance as a woman who won't be gaslit but may find that the alternatives are far terrible anchors the film with her expertly balanced blend of ferocity and scepticism.
The U.S.A. Today
"As she has done in previous works such as "Black Widow," "Midsommar," and others, Pugh improves the quality of every project she is a part of; this is especially important as the plot thickens.
She expertly conveys Alice's wide range of emotions, from constant doting to paranoid conspiracy theorist and back again, making joy and fear feel remarkably real even in a waxwork world."
Rock & Roll
And it is unquestionably beautiful, with cinematography by Matthew Libatique, production design by Katie Byron, and costume design by Arianne Phillips that creates a ring-a-ding '50s fantasy world that is hard not to be beguiled by.
Daily News of Los Angeles
"Perhaps Wilde's most eye-catching visual flourish is a homage to the colourful dancing displays...
These dizzying, fleeting images contribute to a mounting sense of temporal dislocation and support the prevailing impression of a male-orchestrated society in which women exist primarily for the sake of display."
Don't Worry Darling has received mixed to positive reviews, with most critics saying the film is only slightly below average.
Many things are criticised while others are praised; for example, Florence Pugh's performance and photography are praised while Styles' acting and Wilde's direction are criticised.
The critical consensus is that Don't Worry Darling isn't that terrific, despite all the hoopla around the film.
Yet, after the film is released to the masses, opinions may diverge widely.