Film Review: Don’t Worry Darling by Olivia Wilde


  • Christina Ramirez


The film Don’t Worry Darling (2022) depicts unhappiness with married life, toxic masculinity, and the fight for gender equality. Seemingly set in the 1950s, several couples live in a pretentious, thriving community that shelters successful couples under an experiment. Everyone in the town of Victory lives in a simulation initiated by a character named Frank. In the actual present day, throughout the film, Frank is portrayed as a cult leader. In this experimentation he is leading, Frank has motivated and swayed men to give him their money to exist in a virtual reality stimulation similar to life during the 1950s. This voluntarily paid experiment transfers them mentally into another dimension, leaving their failed lives behind for the make-believe lifestyle they choose. The new life entails a successful career for the husband, a luxurious lifestyle, and joy, while the wives stay home cleaning, cooking, exercising, and living up to what the perfect woman entails. The film represents a vision of femininity that relies on essentialist assumptions about what it means to be a woman; it also underscores the risks of ignoring those who don’t perfectly align with this image.