The Biggest Embarrassment of ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Is Harry Styles Tap Dancing

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Warner Bros./Getty
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Warner Bros./Getty

We’ve spent weeks skewering Harry Styles over his floundering acting efforts. The man can’t act, they say—and I agree. He’s very, very bad in Don’t Worry Darling. So bad, in fact, that he’s been making theaters full of people burst into laughter at his yelps to Florence Pugh.

But we aren’t talking enough about the best part of Don’t Worry Darling, which does involve our favorite goofy guy: the tap dancing scene.

It Turns Out Harry Styles Is Really Bad at Acting

What is Harry Styles, if not a dazzling stage performer? “This scene makes no sense,” you tell me, furrowing your brow, after walking out of the theater. You’re confused as to why Jack (Styles) throws down a full tap dancing routine in response to receiving a work promotion, all during a large banquet. You’re right. It doesn’t make sense. But that’s what makes it the perfect scene.

Let me clarify now that I do not think this scene is actually good; I simply appreciate the fact that it can make me laugh. Jaw hanging loose, completely removed from reality, watching this scene feels like entering a painting by Hieronymus Bosch. Nothing feels right.

And yet, everything feels right. Alice (Pugh) is trying not to have a panic attack at this gala for her husband’s bizarre company, the Victory Project, losing her sense of reality more and more by the minute. Something isn’t right about this perfect, ’50s-style world. She needs to leave. Now. But right as she begs Jack to exit with her, he’s called to the stage by clearly evil company man Frank (Chris Pine), who offers Jack a senior position at work.

Alice bolts for the exit, but we get to witness more of the gala. Jack accepts a ring from Frank, signaling his higher status in the Victory Project. Then, the stage is his. He tap dances the night away. Why? I would say “chaos,” but as we know, “chaos is the opposite of progress,” per Frank.

‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Has an Absolutely Absurd Big Twist

There are several bits and pieces of Don’t Worry Darling that, for the life of me, I can’t explain after seeing that twist. The ground is always shaking. What’s with that plane crash? But of all these lingering questions the internet has fixated on, the one about Harry Styles’ tap dancing takes the cake—there is no rhyme or reason, especially since he is so bad at dancing.

He doesn’t tap! Though he sports tap shoes and a little tap dancer boy outfit—Frank removes Jack’s suit jacket from his body to signal the beginning of a routine—he’s not clicking his heels and tapping his toes. No, Styles opts for a much more subversive approach. He flings his body up, off the stage, twists around like a ballerina, and waves his arms up and down as if he were balancing on a tightrope.

“How about that, HUH?” Frank bellows. He’s about one minute short of shouting “Now, he’ll perform a rendition of ‘Here Comes Santy Claus!’” in full Colonel Tom Parker voice, a la Tom Hanks.

Jack looks so stressed in this scene, too, as if his life depends on dancing. Newsflash, pal! This dance routine is silly, everyone’s laughing at you, and your wife is about to explode from anxiety in the next room over. But I guess the show must go on.

Watching this scene, I felt like I was dreaming a fake version of Don’t Worry Darling. We’ve spent so many weeks hyping (?) this movie up—the screaming matches, the loogies, the Miss Flo of it all—that I figured this scene could be my mind’s creation of the film. This can’t be real, I thought, pinching myself awake.

It is very much real, and thankfully so, because it is the best part of the whole movie. I understand that I should not discount Florence Pugh’s acting talent; she is a close second in this race. But Harry Styles’ forced, failed tap dancing blows everything else away.

The scene is made even better after the fact by Harry Styles fans, who have a particular fondness of the whole affair, and have wasted no time exploring its every possible meaning on social media.

I love Harry Styles, I love his inability to act, and I love the tap dancing scene. I would watch it 15 times over and laugh until my ribs hurt each time, cackling at the complete lack of tapping over and over again.

Styles’ lead role feels minimized throughout the entirety of Don’t Worry Darling. He’s shot mostly from the back, there’s a shoddy explanation for his British accent (was he so bad at the American accent that they had to write around him?), and his character doesn’t feel like a real person. But director Olivia Wilde does know how to show off what he does best: flop around on stage for packed crowds of audience.

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