I really think that the better movie is the making of and what happened after this film, kind of like how WCW was actually pretty boring back in the 90s but what was happening away from the cameras was a million times more interesting. Instead of a stirring drama of a woman leaving the father of her children for a much younger rock star while dealing with a sex pest actor and alienating her leading lady which leads to frenzied drama as the cast tries to keep it normal at Cannes, we get a stilted take on The Stepford Wives at Los Alamos.
Olivia Wilde made a big jump from the sister bond gross-out humor of Booksmart to this and hey, more power to her. That movie was Superbad revisited nearly a decade later with women in the lead. Maybe that’s going to be her thing, revisionist filmmaking, but hey, it made nearly three times its budget back, so yeah, we’re totally going to see more of that. Who cares if we’ve seen it before?
That said, Florence Pugh is wonderful and will easily move past this trifle, a movie that finds her and Harry Styles as Alice and Jack Chambers, a young couple who live in the 50s neighborhood of Victory where everyone works for Frank (Chris Pine), who is making something amazing and reality-altering that can make planes fall out of the sky. Or, you know, it’s all a twist. I mean, you know it’s a twist.
Wilde plays Bunny, a neighbor married to Nick Kroll, so yes, this is somewhat science fiction. I kid, I kid. I kind of love that even in this artificial world of fantasy, Dita Von Teese is still the image of perfection no matter whether it’s on film or in our unreal life.
Anyways — this was written by Dick Van Dyke’s grandchildren Carey and Shane, then rewritten by Katie Silverman, whose last film Isn’t It Romantic is very much simulation theory as well.
I desperately wanted this to be more than it was, but damn if it doesn’t look gorgeous. And hey, any movie that pretty much has Jordan Peterson as the bad guy is a winner for me. Let’s just make a movie of all those Busby Berkeley scenes and Dita and really, I’d probably give it way more stars than this. I like the message, I get the idea, but I wish it had something more to it than a pretty update to show for all the drama that happened along the way.