In a world where social media is meant to connect us, there are still many flaws in the system, especially when it comes to showing actual care in the face of life’s hardest challenges. Take Care, written and directed by Liz Tuccillo (co-author of He’s Just Not That into You), brings an unlikely duo together in her first full-length big screen effort. Leslie Bibb (Iron Man & Iron Man 2) as Frannie manipulates her ex-boyfriend, Devon played by Tom Sadoski (TV’s Newsroom), into taking care of her after she suffers injuries from getting hit by a car.
While Frannie has a sister (Nadia Dajani from TV’s The Carrie Diaries) and tons of friends in her life (Marin Ireland of Hope Springs), that’s not enough for her; especially during those in between times when her broken leg and arm prevent her from comfortably getting out of bed, and essentially making it through the day with just the company of her thoughts.
The movie is successful is depicting the frustration and the surprising comedy that comes of situations beyond our control, struggling with mobility or boredom. However, the storyline suffers during Frannie’s most inactive moments, where we don’t learn anything more about her as a character to make us want to root for her recovery. We’re simply left wondering what sort of escape we will discover in a film that takes a while to get moving. It’s finally when the awkward supporting characters, a work-out obsessed neighbor played by Michael Stahl-David (Cloverfield) and Devon’s jealous current girlfriend, Jodi, played by Betty Gilpin (Nurse Jackie), enter and create some tension does the story regain its momentum.
There are some problems with Frannie, who is self-centered and doesn’t think beyond herself. Although, her motive to guilt her newly successful ex into returning the care she gave him during their two-year relationship is the primary conflict that builds the film’s most charming moments and the barrier begins to break down. Bibb, who also co-produced the film, breaks away from the leggy, blonde bombshell archetype with darker tresses and an attitude serving Frannie’s situation. Bibb and Sadoski are clumsily paired and, by the end, Devon really seems to be the one worth watching because of the change this experience has had on him.
Take Care, which hits select theaters December 5th, is a reflection of a helpless situation many can relate to, with romps of comedy that elevate it from tolerable to somewhat delightful. The movie reflects reality with a twist, one that most independent films attempt to achieve to charm audiences with simplicity and a down-to-earth examination of relationships.
Rating: Take Care knocks on the door of indie film gold, trying to balance flawed characters against the backdrop of physical and emotional injury, but doesn’t quite reach it (5/10).