Don't Worry Darling

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Not suitable under 14; not recommended under 15; parental guidance to 15 (violence, scary scenes, sex scenes, self-harm)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Don't Worry Darling
  • a review of Don't Worry Darling completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 October 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 14 Not suitable due to violence, scary scenes, sex scenes, and self-harm.
Children aged 14 Not recommended due to violence, scary scenes, sex scenes, and self-harm.
Children aged 15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, scary scenes, sex scenes, and self-harm.
Children over the age of 15 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Don't Worry Darling
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Mature themes, sex scenes, violence and coarse language
Length: 123 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Jack (Harry Styles) and Alice (Florence Pugh) seemingly live an ideal life in an experimental model town called Victory. It is set during the 50’s in America, where all the men dutifully go off to work each morning, while their wives stay home and clean the house. Alice spends her day cleaning, vacuuming, washing etc., while listening to the encouraging words of Victory boss, Frank (Chris Pine), on the radio. The afternoons are spent with her neighbour and friend, Bunny (Olivia Wilde), along with the other wives, either doing ballet, shopping, or relaxing, drinking cocktails by the pool. By the time Jack returns home, dinner is prepared and Alice can’t wait to have sex with him.

No-one knows what secretive work their husbands do, and it is seen as an offence to bring the subject up. However, when Alice’s friend, Margaret (Kiki Layne), starts to question what’s going on, her life begins to unravel and she goes into a very dark place. At first, Alice tries to encourage Margaret but Alice too starts to question her reality. Alice finds herself increasingly suspicious of what is happening around her and when she eventually confronts Frank, her world falls apart.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Control; Virtual Reality; Suicide and self-harm.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Alice is trapped between a window and a wall, which appears to be crushing her.
  • Alice sees Margaret’s image in a mirror. Margaret appears to bang her head against the mirror, eventually smashing the mirror, and her face is covered in blood.
  • Margaret is seen standing on a roof, holding a knife to her throat. She slits her own throat and falls off the roof, dead.
  • Alice is constrained by two men who drag her back into her house.
  • Alice wraps her head in plastic wrap until she finds it hard to breath. She then struggles to tear the plastic off.
  • Alice is again grabbed by men who drag her into a room. She is strapped to a bed and given electric shock treatment. Alice is seen struggling against this.
  • A husband and wife argue intensely, screaming at each other. The wife eventually smashes a glass over the husband’s head and kills him.
  • A car chase sees characters being hit by a car and other characters dragged from their vehicles by security guards who take over their vehicles. Three cars crash violently and burst into flames.
  • A character is killed by his wife with a kitchen knife.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Nothing further noted for this age group.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Alice often has nightmares and visions in which she sees swirling patterns and scary-looking characters.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • One of the wives says that if her husband got fired, she’d kill herself.
  • Margaret takes her son out into the desert, and he’s never seen again.
  • Alice sees a plane crash and goes to investigate. She walks a long way through the hot desert, panting and distressed.
  • Alice puts her hands on the glass of a dome. Her hands turn red, and she collapses.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Alice is seen covered in blood.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • At a party, a woman does a sort of striptease act. She actually doesn’t take many clothes off but all the men are whistling and catcalling at her. She ends up sitting in a giant martini glass.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Jack and Alice are often seen kissing passionately.
  • Alice greets Jack at the door, and they immediately have oral sex on the dining room table.
  • Other couples are seen kissing passionately.
  • Jack and Alice have sex at a party. Frank is watching them.
  • No actual nudity but from behind, a woman is seen at the pool, topless.
  • Alice is seen wearing a see-through dress.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • There is a lot of drinking throughout the movie, at home, at parties, by the pool etc.
  • Some characters smoke cigarettes.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Oh my God
  • Fuck and fucking
  • Jack gives another man the finger.

In a nutshell

Don’t Worry Darling is a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seats. The film has an interesting twist in the plot that is very 21st century. The fact that Harry Styles stars in this movie will attract young teenage girls, however, the film really isn’t suitable for this age group, particularly with one character committing suicide and another self-harming. It is therefore not suitable for children under 14 and not recommended for children under 15, and parental guidance is recommended for 15-year-olds.

The main message from this movie is, what would you give up to have a perfect life?

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Strong female characters who question their place in the world.
  • Courage to face up to powerful men.
  • Determination.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • How women in the 50’s were happy to stay at home to be home makers and to please their husbands. Women’s roles have changed in Western society but not everywhere in the world, and while women’s status has improved, is equality of the sexes any better?