Sunday, December 14, 2014

Take Care: Movie Review

Taking their sweet time to get to a charming romantic comedy.

Leslie Bibb stars as Frannie, a young woman immobilized by a car accident and finds that independent living is significantly more difficult without the ability to walk around. Her friends and family abandon her in her time of need, so Frannie decides to turn to her ex-boyfriend Devon (Thomas Sadoski) for help. Take Care is indeed a romantic comedy; sometimes light on the comedy, sometimes light on the romance, but it all comes together in the end. 2014

Directed by: Liz Tuccillo

Screenplay by: Liz Tuccillo

Starring: Leslie Bibb, Thomas Sadoski

Her friends have nick-named Devon 'the Devil' and although there are obvious reasons for why, their actual history is only revealed in snippets. But we'll get to that and Devon later – as does the movie. The beginning is a painfully slow introduction to Frannie's situation. There were some obvious attempts at physical comedy that just weren't funny, friends and family members that weren't funny, and it moves about as slowly as Frannie does. That sounds a bit harsh, but a romantic comedy without comedy and without a love interest leaves very little to drive the film forward. However, the second half turns into a very thoughtful romantic comedy. And for anybody who can withstand the slow start, you should be able to get something out of it.

Devon arrives after Frannie has hit a mentally-low and a morally-low point and she calls her ex-boyfriend to guilt him into taking care of her. She has her reasons and I will let the film unveil them for you because it is worth discovering that way.

Devon is played by the ever-charming, very funny and very under-stated Thomas Sadoski and he's able to keep the film moving even if relatively little is actually happening. He has a scene-stealing monologue which just amps up the sympathy quotient for both characters (not an easy feat), and with Devon also comes Devon's current girlfriend Jodi (Betty Gilpin). Jodi's jealousy introduces some decent comedy, as does the parallel between Jodi's emotional-neediness and Frannie's physical neediness. The contrast and similarities between the two add additional depth to the main characters.

The naturally-evolving relationship between Devon and Frannie eventually becomes very charming. Leslie Bibb has an effortlessly appealing and relatable screen presence and Sadoski's Devon gives the film a thoughtful and interesting layer. And before we know it, we have a romantic and funny romantic comedy.

The supporting characters include a handsome next door neighbour (Michael Stahl-David), a high-strung sister (Tracee Chimo), and an emotionally high-strung best friend (Marin Ireland). The girls treat neighbour Kyle poorly, and while that is off-putting in the beginning, the personalities of her friends end up providing insight to the evolution that Frannie has gone through since her relationship with Devon. And somewhat surprisingly one realizes that  Take Care  has actually crafted some genuinely engaging characters. It's worth spending some time with.
Best Lesser-known of 2014