Take Care (2014)
Written by Liz Tuccillo
Directed by Liz Tuccillo
Available on Netflix to stream
One of my favorite things to do is turn on Netflix and randomly pick a movie to watch that I know absolutely nothing about. Most of the time I end up happily surprised and more than glad I did. I think some of the enjoyment comes from not knowing anything, and subsequently having no expectations. I found Take Care this way. It was the second film in the “recommended” list, and I was drawn to it immediately because of my cinematic-crush on Thomas Sadoski (thank you, The Newsroom, for introducing me to Thomas), and my love of indie romantic comedy type films, especially ones written and directed by women.
The film opens with Frannie, played the underrated, and underused, Leslie Bibb who I will always think of first as Brooke from the late nineties/early aughts short-lived television series Popular. Frannie is being helped out of a cab and up to her fourth floor walk-up apartment by two women who we will learn are her sister, Fallon, played by Nadia Dajani, and her friend Laila, played by Marin Ireland who I just enjoyed in the limited run television series, The Slap (a show that Thomas Sadoski was in as well, and a show that I think no one watched except me, and my friend Tracy). You see, Frannie has been recently hit by a car and has a badly broken leg and arm, leaving her nearly unable to take care of herself.
There are a lot of mishaps in the beginning as we realize, as Frannie realizes, that she has no one around her to take care of her. Sure, her sister half-heartedly stops by to help, though it is immediately obvious that Fallon would rather buy things to help her, than actually be there for Frannie. Laila is there for a second, but then is taken by her own personal drama when her boyfriend breaks-up with her over the phone. There’s also Jason (Micheal Godere), but when he arrives to help Frannie bathe, bringing along his “met on Grinder” (guess they couldn’t use the name Tinder) potential boyfriend, Lawrence (Kevin Curtis), he is really no help to Frannie at all.
The one thing that her friends and sister have in common, besides being unavailable to Frannie, is their distaste of “The Devil“, aka the name given to Devon, Frannie’s ex-boyfriend who she helped take care of for two years as he battled colon Cancer, and who dumped her after getting well. Oh, and he’s just made some big tech-y sale to Yahoo, but that last detail never seems to matter much after its first plot device use as an establishing detail of “The Devil’s” dickish nature (dumping the girl who nursed him to health and then going off to become a millionaire).
Oh, and then there is the neighbor who I swore would have a bigger part in Frannie’s life, but alas he is just the techno loving, work out obsessed, no filter when he talks to people guy next door who is never quite established. He was my one big complaint in the film as I felt he went nowhere, though seemed to hint that he would go somewhere. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that I thought for a moment he’d wind up an “end game” of sorts.
The movie itself truly gets going as soon as Devon reluctantly agrees to be Frannie’s care-giver and we get to see the chemistry they have, the complicated emotions they both carry for each other, and the way they start to get to know each other again. I believed in the two of them, and rooted for them, even when I thought that maybe they’d be better off going their separate ways.
Yes, there were some plot holes and characters that I wished had been better developed, and the ending itself felt a little too rushed (I wanted one more scene), and yes, there is a level of predictability that is present through the story until the last act that I honestly could have seen go in three different directions, but all in all I enjoyed the film and am glad I stumbled upon it.
I also wish we got to see more of the Frannie we see in little moments during the credits, dancing and running up stairs, and reclaiming herself. After going through her struggle to take care, and be taken care of, I wanted to see her get stronger internally, and not just physically. We see glimpses of that, especially in one short scene with Jason, Lawrence and Laila, but I would have liked a little more.
Have you seen Take Care? What did you think of it? Do you have any films available to watch online that you’d recommend to me, and/or like to see me write about here?