Opinion: What all this “Don’t Worry, Darling” drama is really about

How did we create such an appetite? I have a theory. In the UK, where I live, the summer months when school was closed and Parliament was in recess were called “bad weather“because serious news was so thin on the pitch. Now, here and everywhere else, the silly season is a thing of the past. Cataclysmic headlines are daily, no rights or joys seem guaranteed, and the future looms ominously and It’s always winter, never a silly season – and its absence has left a void that begs to be filled with nonsense.
For those of you who couldn’t keep up rolling show, here’s the gist. “Don’t Worry, Darling” (whose distributor, Warner Bros. Pictures, is owned by parent company CNN and hits theaters September 23) is a thriller directed by Olivia Wilde, starring Oscar-nominated Florence Pugh, and the beautiful singer-prince of the times, Harry Styles. Shia LeBeouf, the film’s male lead, left the project in 2019 and was replaced by Styles, who was later pictured holding Wilde’s hand in January 2021.
By August of that year, speculation of a feud between Pugh and Wilde had gained momentum, as had a rumor that Wilde’s attention on set was being diverted by the presence of his apparent lover, Styles. Wilde’s public account of LeBeouf being fired was later strongly contradicted by screenshots shared by LeBeouf which appeared to depict Wilde begging him to come back and dismissively referring to Pugh as “Miss Flo”. Pugh then showed up later than the rest of the cast to the film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where Harry Styles may have spat in co-star Chris Pine’s lap. CNN has reached out to reps for all of the cast for comment; a Pine representative tell people“To be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion to the contrary is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”
Stripped to the essentials, no element of this saga is so important. No twist is uniquely sensational or irresistibly funny, and if we’re being honest with ourselves, Styles’ precise saliva trajectory isn’t seismic enough to merit any think pieces who is dedicated to it. Yet over the past week I’ve seen people who aren’t usually interested in celebrity news at all, chewing up every detail, declaring which of the parties they support and speculating about potential next moves focusing on Sun Tzu would be proud. On the face of it, the fuss is absurd, but taken in context, it makes perfect sense.
The human brain has only a limited capacity for important and consequential information, and the past few years have been so saturated with major news events that they make the word punctuation “unprecedented.” For decades we added the suffix – “gate” to political scandals that stood out, as Watergate remained the bar against which all subsequent transgressions were measured. Then in 2016, real estate heir, former TV host and many times litigator Donald Trump was elected president, and the events what followed shattered the ceiling (or rather the floor) of what was thought possible in modern American politics.

Along with this, the world as we knew it has been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, and much of the human contact – and shenanigans – that would have typically distracted from the news cycle have been cut. For months, I remember getting together for socially distant chaste walks with friends, desperate for even a whiff of vicarious hijinks, only to exchange status reports on our appalling sanity and the frenzies of ” Real Housewives”. Months later, the scars left on so many relationships are still visible, and the low-stakes gossip that brightened our lives is becoming increasingly rare.

Our private lives aside, even since the pandemic took a back seat, the volume and urgency of daily news has remained at a constant, deafening screech. In the UK, a cost of living crisis is about to plunge millions into penury, and we just lost a monarch who had reigned since the government of Winston Churchill. In America, the definition of life itself is at stake following Roe’s turnaround and the theft of lives by Gun violence happens with a rapidity that rends the heart and turns the stomach.
Agreeing on a productive and morally sound way forward is seemingly impossible, and the good and bad sides of each option tear families, friendships, and neighborhoods apart. Registration heat wavesa Russian war in Ukraine, merger ice caps and electoral conspiracies vie every morning for the top spot on the news front pages, and every element of every story offers a potential source of contention and heartache.

While we might have expected mild relief, or at the very least mundaneness, between generation-defining stories, barely a week has passed in recent years without an event that could comfortably populate a semester. entire history lesson. The nature of these stories – from the virus that has locked us down to the agonizing debates over abortion and guns – is such that even our daily lives are less fun, less playful than before.

We’re wired to keep scrolling, and the volume of information we consume is at an all-time high, but we can’t live on calamity alone. For years we have been craving lightness, foam, something to talk about that won’t leave the slightest material imprint on our lives. Then, finally, this thing happened. Don’t worry, darling. Not everything is necessarily so important.