Ok, ok, call me a sceptic but I feel like all the palaver surrounding Don’t Worry Darling is the world of genius PR.
It’s the most-talked-about film of the year, but not for any reasons remotely pertaining to the film itself.
In fact, due to the blinding drama going on behind the scenes, or so musings suggest, I’ve almost forgotten there is an actual film that is still being released. Tomorrow, in case you were wondering.
The analysing of body language on red carpets has been done with surgical precision,there were private messages leaked, nicknames perpetuated, rumours over firings, feuds and romances.
Jesus, it even had us spending several days debating whether one actor spat on another at Venice Film Festival.
But is the film even good? Who cares when the BTS drama is this juicy!
It all started when, in 2020, it emerged Olivia Wilde, who is directing and starring in the film, was dating Harry Styles, who stars as Jack, after they were spotted, hand in hand, at his manager’s wedding.
Soon her relationship – or non-relationship, as sure, who has confirmed anything, eh? – took centre stage over the film she’d made.
Then we cared less about this apparent relationship because, hold up, there was apparently a feud between Olivia and lead actress Florence Pugh? (Some say feud, I say find me a workplace where everyone has got along 100% of the time.)
And did Olivia fire Shia LaBeouf?
And that ‘Miss Flo’ video? Who leaked it?
The cast have managed, throughout the extensive press they’ve all done, to dodge the dogged questioning on each of these elements without pouring cold water on our interest. They give us just enough to keep us going. I smell a set-up!
On the other hand, the chatters have festered a really ugly, sexist underbelly.
The director has been epically sidelined in a merry-go-round of endless petty drama in a way her male counterparts are not.
Ignore the old adage, any publicity is not good publicity when studios may look at the ridiculousness of the promo trail of Don’t Worry Darling and decide not to back Olivia’s third directing venture.
When men like [redacted] or [redacted] continued to direct and produce films long after actually damaging allegations are made about on-set ethics or BTS conduct, it’s just downright sexist what has been done to Olivia.
However, she seems to be rolling with the punches. And the cynic in me deduces this is because all we’re talking about is this sodding film, aren’t we? Like, friends who usually have no interest in the happenings of my day job are champing at the bit to glean any further gossip on the cast. Sadly, I’m riding this wave alongside them.
Olivia said in a chat with Stephen Colbert this week: ‘We made a film in a pandemic, that’s like building a house in a hurricane. So we can handle a little Twitter storm.’
Well, I think this ‘little Twitter storm’ will get bums in cinema seats.
While the constant barrage of negative press directed at the director could signal a severe hump in her career, no less her mental health, it could also work gorgeously in her favour. And I hope it does. The latter bit.
I wanted to see the film anyway. Now I really, really want to see it, despite the divided critiques from reviewers thus far.
Oh the power of publicity – deliberate or not.
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