Huge spoilers for Don’t Worry Darling ahead.
The big-twist ending of Don’t Worry Darling hits you differently depending on what sci-fi you’ve already consumed. Is the Victory Project The Matrix? Ready Player One? Or wherever Serenity takes place? Florence Pugh finds out that she is not, in fact, a mid-century housewife living in a cloistered desert community. She is actually a surgeon whose incel husband has kidnapped her and jacked her into the Matrix/OASIS/Truman Show. But if you’re a true gamer, there’s only one comparable simulation. It is the life simulator The Sims.
The Victory Project is supposed to be a computerized Palm Springs. But what it more closely resembled, almost uncannily, was the Oasis Springs neighborhood from The Sims 4. Like the town in the movie, Oasis Springs has one nightclub and no restaurants, so the women always have to cook dinner from a few preprogrammed recipes. All the houses are some riff on mid-century modern. When people go to their jobs, they literally disappear from the game. And no one is aware they’re in a simulation designed for one person’s sick pleasure — namely, mine.
Would Sims of the Don’t Worry Darling cast get into the same level of shenanigans as their big-screen counterparts? Or do we need the human touch to get something as stupid yet all-consuming as spitgate? The only way to find out was to put Miss Flo & Co. in The Sims 4.
Genius Simmers have already designed a vast majority of the DWD cast, but I still had to make my own Florence, Nick Kroll, Kate Berlant, that guy from WandaVision, and Kiki Layne and her EGT boyfriend. I then deleted every townie in the game besides the most iconic families: the Goths, the Landgraabs, the Callientes, and the GOAT, Agnes Crumplebottom. But without all those NPCs, the world felt empty. I needed some fellow travelers in our simulated world.
Someone in the Sims gallery had made a household of 8 to 15 Agent Smiths from The Matrix, so they got moved into a mansion. Neo, Trinity, and Morpheus got moved into the Japanese-ish neighborhood of Mt. Komorebi. It felt weird to have a world with Kate Berlant and no John Early, so I moved him into a trailer in Oasis Springs with his new roommate, Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique. I also made Betty Friedan a werewolf for a little spice. People keep calling DWD “Get Out for white women,” so I brought in Jordan Peele, then figured Keegan-Michael Key may as well come along for the ride, too. Finally, I had to get Jason Sudeikis in this world, So I installed Ted Lasso in the quasi-British cottagecore world of Henford-on-Bagley. Will he serve divorce papers to Olivia Wilde while she’s giving a speech to the Oasis Springs community? Only time will tell.
Harry Styles and Miss Flo are really hitting it off. Just like in the movie, they get straight to smooching. I try to get them to “woohoo” (the SFW equivalent of fucking in the world of The Sims), but the “Welcome Wagon” event starts before they can build up enough romance. When you start a Sims game, an event is triggered that brings all your new neighbors to your home. Someone always brings a fruitcake, and it is always a disgusting burden. Guess who brought the disgusting food to Miss Flo’s? Olivia Wilde. The (alleged) feud begins.
Another Welcome Wagon event doesn’t go so well. Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, and their two creepy offspring are living in a haunted house. The Landgraabs come over to welcome them to the fancy part of the neighborhood, but angry spirits scare them away. Gemma Chan tries to serve a platter of drinks, but the Landgraabs keep dropping the drinks and running away in terror. Bummer.
My next goal is to get Kate Berlant pregnant. You can hack a lot of things in The Sims 4, but getting someone pregnant via console commands results in the entire world glitching for some reason. So I need to make Berlant and Asif Ali fall madly in love and “try for baby.” I gave Asif the jealous trait because someone who not only forces their partner into a simulation but also keeps them forever at two trimesters probably isn’t very chill. So his and Kate’s courtship is half flirting, half him expressing a fear of getting cheated on. Over and over again, he wants to discuss relationship fears. He wants to talk about it while Kate’s cooking, causing her to burn the grilled cheese. He wants to talk about it while they’re watching TV. He wants to talk about it during their Welcome Wagon. It gets to the point that I make Kate flirt with the first Agent Smith she meets. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. But despite this marital strain, Kate does manage to get pregnant. Not by Agent Smith, by Asif. The game announces this by having confetti explode out of Kate while she is actively pissing on a pregnancy test. Subtle this game is not.
Jordan Peele has invited himself into Olivia Wilde’s home and is now watching sports on the TV while her kids do homework. It’s ironic given that Wilde was the one metaphorically invading Peele’s territory IRL. Around the time Nick Kroll comes home from his astronaut work, one of the Mr. Smiths also invites himself inside. Wilde pours the crew drinks while Kroll and Peele have a “funny conversation” — presumably about how they both had Comedy Central shows. They keep hanging out, even after Olivia goes to sleep. Nick and Jordan dance to the record player in her room, somehow not waking Wilde up.
Later, Nick Kroll continues his latest hobby: destroying his daughter’s dollhouse. Every time he gets big mad (which is often), he stomps her house to smithereens. He is also the one who rebuilds it every time, but still. Not cool.
Florence Pugh appears to have a perma-stank face. She is always looking pissed, even when her moodlets say she’s happy. Maybe it’s all the time she’s spending with Olivia Wilde. Maybe it’s because she longs to go outside but is forced to clean at home most of the time. After finishing her morning chores, I send her to the park and she learns to fish.
Meanwhile, the Pine-Chans cannot catch a break, socializing-wise. Their Welcome Wagon was a bust, so Gemma decides to bring the whole family (plus Morpheus) to the Festival of Youth at Mt. Komorebi. But before Chris Pine and Morpheus can get some guy time in, Gemma Chan tries to play the piano at the karaoke lounge. She’s so bad, Morpheus and all the other patrons run away.
Jordan Peele is back at the Kroll-Wilde household, and he weeps for Girl Child Wilde’s dollhouse. Oh, and Kate Berlant decides that she “likes mixology,” a.k.a. becomes a drunk.
Well, Florence Pugh is trapped. Not like in the movie. She somehow got stuck between her bathtub and the many mirrors that surround it. For hours, Florence gets hungrier and sleepier, unable to glitch out of the spot. It’s looking like she’s going to die there. Harry Styles seems unbothered, however. He’s way more focused on his new love for fitness. He wants to go for a jog, but he’s also almost starving. So I tell him to eat leftover macaroni and cheese (Florence can’t cook her hubby bacon and eggs when she’s stuck in the bathroom) and then go for a jog. Harry’s like, “What do you mean, eat then run?” and proceeds to jog through the Victory Project eating a full plate of mac ’n’ cheese.
While she’s trapped, Flo gets a call from Kate Berlant. She wants to flirt with Clement Frost, the Sims equivalent of Santa Claus. Should she go for it? Florence says yes.
Meanwhile, it’s Night on the Town! All food and drink are free at local bars and restaurants. Nick Kroll takes Olivia Wilde to the pub in Henford-on-Bagley, and guess who’s there. Tedrick M. Lasso, that’s who. They do not get along. Unprompted, she insults him, and he does an unfavorable impression of her. I add fuel to this fire, making her mock Ted, trick him with a hand buzzer, and give him a stink-bomb gift. They are enemies now. Meanwhile, the drink Nick Kroll ordered isn’t sitting right in his tummy and he throws up in the pub bathroom. Ah, England.
Olivia and Nick decide to throw a kava party. They invite everyone they’ve ever met in this world: Florence Pugh, Kate Berlant and her husband, Jordan Peele, Santa Claus, Morpheus, and a couple of Agent Smiths. The gang is well and truly all here. Olvia Wilde prepares the kava while Nick Kroll grills up some plantains.
Somehow Florence has managed to get out of her bathtub prison, but she is very, very tired. She immediately goes to sleep in Girl Child Wilde’s bed. Olivia serves the kava, and people get wasted. Olivia flirts with Santa Claus and an Agent Smith right in front of Nick Kroll. They argue. It’s a huge scene. But a second round of kava placates the guests, and everyone keeps dancing while Kroll sulks.
After the party, Olivia goes to sleep. But Nick Kroll, fuming at his wife’s cuckolding, asks Jordan Peele to tie one on at the local bar. He’s desperate to get a sense of agency back in his life. While there, he throws a pickup line at Werewolf Betty Friedan. She’s into it! You know who’s not into it? Agnes Crumplebottom.
Ever since she was introduced in The Sims 1: Date Night, Agnes’s whole deal is that she’s anti-romance. The prequel game set up that her husband died before she was even able to change her last name to his, and this grief fueled her hatred of young love. If anyone flirts in front of her, she wallops them with her handbag. Kroll gets a wallop, Agnes gets a drink thrown in her face, and the two fight. Cucked and Crumplebottomed, Nick Kroll returns home after getting his ass handed to him by an old lady.
Olivia makes pancakes for the family while Nick sleeps off last night’s ass-beating. They discuss their relationship while the kids do the dishes. It’s not perfect, but there’s the beginning of trust there.
Across town, however, Miss Flo is discovering a dark secret about their world. No, not that they’re in a simulation, that werewolves are real! She and Harry Styles throw a party at the house of Flo’s werewolf friend, Kristoff. It doesn’t go great. Everyone runs screaming from the house, and Florence develops a fear of the dark. But just like in the movie, she’s determined to face her fears rather than run from them. So she starts exploring the tunnels under Werewolf Town.
Oh dear, Florence Pugh is a werewolf now. She wouldn’t stop exploring the tunnels and bothering werewolves and vampires. Kristoff gave her the cursed bite, and she started eating everything in the house. After screaming incoherently at Harry Styles, she wolfs out right before he has to go to work at his astronaut job. Miss Flo breaks everything in the house during her wolf episode, including the toilet. She calls a repairman, but not before Harry Styles pisses himself on the damn floor. No matter what reality we’re in, that boy cannot keep his fluids to himself. Harry makes himself a drink while a remorseful Florence mops up his piss.
I’m calling it. The simulated Don’t Worry Darling cast had an overly flirty Olivia Wilde, an enraged Florence Pugh, and a vendetta against Ted Lasso. Art (my Sims game) has imitated life. Next, I’ll run the contentious 2023 Best Actor Oscars race. Brendan Fraser, welcome to my world.