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The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

An avid movie-goer’s scoop on “Don’t Worry Darling” preceding its release

Photo Courtesy of AP News
Olivia Wilde and her star-studded cast pose on the red carpet at the world premiere of “Don’t Worry Darling,” at the Venice International Film Festival. In the past several months, the film has been at the center of celebrity drama — likely an attempt to stir up publicity for the film, which is set for release on Sept. 23.

In Oct. 2020, thriller “Don’t Worry Darling,” directed by Olivia Wilde (Booksmart), began production. It will star Florence Pugh (Little Women) and Harry Styles (Dunkirk), who are set to play each other’s spouses. The story follows Alice (Pugh), who lives in a manufactured suburban town with Jack (Styles), as she unravels disturbing secrets he’s been keeping.

This star-studded cast brings major celebrity drama and bickering among fanbases, a topic movie fans and pop culture followers are invested in and opinionated on. One such fan is Bella Gunther, a senior we talked to in order to get her scoop on the spectacle.

Quotes have been edited for clarity.

Interviewer: Have you heard of DWD?
Gunther: I have.
Interviewer: What are your thoughts? Are you excited?
Gunther: Not to hate, but I’m not a huge Harry Styles fan. I don’t know how his acting is gonna go. I’m not very confident in him. I love Florence Pugh, though. The concept itself seems — just one of those movies like, “Oh we’re critiquing Capitalist society.” The premise itself feels kind of overdone,
Interviewer: What about the rest of the casting?
Gunther: I forgot Chris Pine was in it. I was just so focused on my hate of Harry Styles and his acting all over Twitter. I didn’t know Olivia Wilde was directing it until a couple days ago… I remember thinking about the people in it, but it’s always been just Harry Styles focused.
Interviewer: Did you hear about the dramas surrounding it?
Gunther: I heard the drama around it. I’ve heard the spitting stuff [footage of Harry Styles seemingly spitting on Chris Pine].
Interviewer: And that they fired Shia Labeouf for refusing to work with set coordinators?
Gunther: I guess you have to fire an actor if he’s making other people uncomfortable and obviously not doing well. It’s funny that they brought in Harry Styles. This is her [Wilde’s] sophomore film — what was the first one?
Interviewer: Booksmart
Gunther: Booksmart was so good, too.
Interviewer: I think what happened is that it [Don’t Worry Darling] went from Booksmart to such a star-studded cast and [there’s] just so much anticipation and there’s all this publicity to do. What’s your reaction to the Rotten Tomatoes score? It’s 43%.
Gunther: What else is 43%? A lot of movies are low like that… Sometimes, things will hit the 90s and they’re so bad… Let’s see: Hoodwinked? There’s no way this movie is better than Hoodwinked. Hoodwinked is a national classic. Top Gun has 43%? Just based on the other reviews, there’s no way this movie is that good. Was anyone really excited for the premise of this movie?
Interviewer: The 50’s aesthetic is cool to me… It looks so nice visually, but I feel like it would gross me out if I actually watch it.
Gunther: It wouldn’t gross me out, but it’s just so different from what Olivia Wilde has previously done. I think people really liked Booksmart for what it was: low-star cast with people she doesn’t have a lot of experience with. But I don’t think she [Wilde] has a lot of experience based on this and how to wrestle with actors and this is a very different premise than Booksmart. It was ambitious. Did she write this?
Interviewer: I don’t think so.
Gunther: I don’t think she wrote Booksmart, either. With the execution of Booksmart, I feel like there were a lot of people who could’ve done it and I feel like when that concept is open and less narrow, it’s easier to do as a premiere film director. That could have easily been an A24 movie. In fact, it was, and it’s called Lady Bird, which I hated.
Interviewer: [Booksmart is] such a different type of movie from what I remember. It’s so low production. With Don’t Worry Darling, think of all the effects and paying those actors.
Gunther: I think the down-to-earth kitchiness of Booksmart is what made it good. It was like Moxie. It didn’t need to be all that and it didn’t need to [have] star studded characters. It was very personal. I think this was ambitious for her, and not to discredit women in film, but I think she might have bit off a little more than she can chew just because this concept is only something a very minimal amount of film directors could pull off. You think about that kind of genre like horror and thriller that Jordan Peele [would take on].
Interviewer: But I feel like she could pull it off. I feel like it would be such a good combination of coming from such low production to such an exciting thriller.
Gunther: Maybe this is what her writer wanted or she thought this is something she’d really wanna do when she read it… It’s just not gonna be as good a movie as it could’ve been, regardless of if she was directing or not. Maybe if you gave her two more movies and maybe one thriller in between that.
Interviewer: Just give her more experience?
Gunther: Yeah — [get] accustomed to the genre — she’s an actor herself, so she should know, but being an actor is completely different. I feel like some of these actors transition into being directors before they’re producers, but [obviously] I can’t speak for Hollywood.
Interviewer: I see. Was there anything else you wanted to add?
Gunther: This is kind of a very interesting look at Twitter and the internet and its ability to either be a tool of publicity or just to overreact about everything. And the amount of frames I’ve seen of that video where Chris Pine got spit on — like frame by frame. It was crazy.

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“Don’t Worry Darling” is set for release Sep. 23, so it remains to be seen if Wilde will prove Gunther wrong or fail at the task. Either way, people will be looking out for the outcome—if not to see how Wilde takes it on, then for Styles.

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Liann Keren
Liann Keren, Online A&E Editor
Liann is a senior and she is the Pitch's Online A&E editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading pop culture articles and doing yoga with candles.
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