Don’t Worry Darling (2022) (a film review by Mark R. Leeper).

Set in the Victory Project, a 1950s utopian community, “Don’t Worry Darling” follows our protagonist as she tackles housework with the same energy she might bring to a high school rock and roll dance.

The film quickly brings to mind “The Stepford Wives,” which proves to be a reasonable association. As for the town itself, it seems like a blend of the village from “The Prisoner” and the homes featured in “Edward Scissorhands.”

Interestingly, the Victory Project appears to enforce even stricter gender boundaries than “The Stepford Wives,” affecting both men and women. The Victory Project aims to bring order instead of chaos.

In a scene where women attend a ballet class, the instructor tells them, “We move as one.” The film is both a remake of “The Stepford Wives” without enough imagination to set it apart from other versions of the story, and a re-imagining of it that relies on a fair number of current tropes to carry it forward.

In both aspects, it could have used more ideas. Towards the end, the film falters as the protagonist’s relationship with her husband devolves into a non-stop shouting match, and we are treated to an uninspired car chase. (There is a scene where the protagonist wraps her head in plastic wrap. Don’t try this at home, kids!)

Released theatrically on 19th September 2022.

Rating: high +1 (-4 to +4) or 7/10.

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