TAKE CARE (2014)
Starring Leslie Bibb, Thomas Sadoski, Marin Ireland, Betty Gilpin, Tracee Chimo, Kevin Curtis, Nadia Dajani, Michael Stahl-David, Michael Godere, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Tim Wu.
Screenplay by Liz Trucillo.
Directed by Liz Trucillo.
Distributed by Entertainment One. 93 minutes. Not Rated.
You’ve got to give a certain amount of credit to Leslie Bibb. As an attractive actress, it must have taken a huge leap of faith to take on a role in which she will spend a good 90% of her screen time in a body cast.
It’s a difficult role for anyone to take on, spending nearly the entire film in a single apartment, mostly in bed, unable to move around without great difficulty or help. Good for Bibb for making herself so vulnerable for a role.
I wish that the script for Take Care was worthy of the hardship that Bibb had to deal with. Not that we expect writer and first-time director Liz Trucillo to make her into Daniel-Day Lewis in My Left Foot or John Hawkes in The Sessions, but if you are going to make your character essentially helpless for months and almost the entire running time of the film, shouldn’t there be more of a payoff than this?
Trucillo, who wrote many episodes of Sex and the City, as well as the bookHe’s Just Not That Into You, takes a traumatic, life-changing incident and turns it into the springboard for a vaguely sitcom-ish romantic comedy. (Not that the main character could use a springboard in her condition.)
It’s certainly not horrible, in fact in parts the movie is quite amusing, however watching the film one can’t help but think that there must be an easier way to try to reconnect with your true love. I mean, we are talking high concept here.
Bibb plays Frannie, a thirty-something New York professional who was hit by a taxi, leaving her with the right side of her body bandaged up. Let out of the hospital, she returns to her fourth-floor walk-up apartment where her friends and prickly sister quickly tire of tending to her.
While she was in the hospital, she finds out that her ex boyfriend Devon (Thomas Sadoski of The Newsroom) has become a multi-millionaire from the sale of his business and announced his engagement. This makes the bed-ridden Frannie particularly bitter because Devon had dumped her soon after she nursed him through a serious bout of cancer.
Going stir-crazy in her home and mostly unable to care for herself, Frannie decides to guilt him into taking care of her, just as she had done for him. Devon tries to hide what is happening from his jealous new fiancée, who fears that Frannie may try to steal him back.
As they spend lots of time with each other, they come to recollect their old connection. Their friendship and repartee feels comfortable and right. And then, well, you know…
(Don’t worry, I won’t give up any spoilers, but let’s face it, this film is not going to surprise many people.)
It’s honestly a kind of odd storyline, and much of the action and acting is overwrought and sitcom-y.
Yet, there is something intriguing about a film which is almost completely filmed in a small New York apartment, with three main characters (though several others pop in briefly) bouncing off of each other and yet unable to totally escape.
And, as Trucillo’s previous writing has shown, she does have a way with a clever line.
Take Care is not a very good film, but it’s at least interesting. And Bibb deserves mad props for having the bravery to take it on.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2014 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: December 5, 2014.