The Don’t Worry Darling press tour took on a life of its own. It morphed and ballooned with each headline and meme, snowballing into a colossal Bingo card of celebrity news that included the relationship between director Olivia Wilde and leading man Harry Styles, speculation of tensions on set between the couple and star Florence Pugh, Styles allegedly spitting on Chris Pine at the Venice Film Festival, and the revelation that many of KiKi Layne and Ari’el Stachel’s scenes were cut. Along the way, it also gave us “Miss Flo,” perhaps the best video footage of an Aperol Spritz, and even something about a salad dressing recipe. But somewhere, in all of the chaos, is a movie.
Wilde would love for us to remember that, too. “This film is trying to ask big questions, but [it’s] ‘Let’s just focus on this sideshow over here,’” she told ELLE regarding the media and public’s attention on the gossip surrounding Don’t Worry Darling rather than the work itself.
Maybe there’s a chance that could finally happen—viewers turning their attention to those big questions—now that the frenzy is somewhat dying down and the film begins streaming next week. (Granted, the discourse had already begun with theatergoers who dissected the film’s take on feminism and sex, Styles’ acting, and the effectiveness of that big plot twist.) After opening in cinemas on Sept. 23 with an impressive $30 million global debut at the box office, Don’t Worry Darling will finally be streaming on HBO Max on Monday, Nov. 7.
If you need a refresher: Wilde’s sophomore film as a director follows 1950s housewife Alice (Pugh) and her businessman husband Jack (Styles), who live in an idyllic community known as Victory. When she starts asking questions about Jack’s mysterious work and disturbing events in their town, their picture-perfect life starts to unravel.
The visually stunning thriller is almost as shocking as the press tour that preceded it, but you’ll have to watch it to judge for yourself.
Erica Gonzales is the Senior Culture Editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage on TV, movies, music, books, and more. She was previously an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There is a 75 percent chance she’s listening to Lorde right now.