The controversial film due to off-screen issues, spitting, and a lead absent from the promotional tour has landed on streaming, the only way anyone should watch this. Olivia Wilde is in front of and behind the camera in her directorial follow-up to the stellar Eight Grade. Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, and Nick Kroll are all featured.
The controversy around this film is the most interesting part. Harry Styles is an awful actor when he has to show any range. The scene where he is crying in his car had me laughing out loud at how bad he was. I understand why Pugh is trying to distance herself from this trainwreck. I recommend leaving this film in the unwatched list on HBO Max.
Avoiding spoilers, the film was not good. You can always stop reading now and watch or press on for more reasons to skip it.
Spoilers: The film tries to serve as a commentary on incels/toxic masculinity but does it without a hint of nuance. Harry Styles’ character is resentful of Pugh’s career as a surgeon. I believe she is an attending trauma surgeon and needs a supportive partner who is not a man-child incapable of feeding himself when she unexpectedly has to work late. Having personal experience with plans changing because a surgery went long, I have no sympathy for Styles’ character and question why Pugh is still in this relationship. They also have money management issues if she is truly an attending and not a resident.
So much of the universe that this film takes place in is a mystery. You are left asking so many questions when the final credits roll that you forget if they told you anything. They did not. Much like Don’t Look Up, this film feels targeted at a WOKE audience, but it does not do its homework. It never explores how a middle-aged white man whose wife out-earns him gets radicalized. I can appreciate social and political commentary in the film, but you have to be clever and this movie is blunt.