Deep down we’re all fans of romantic comedies. In most cases it’s a particular actor or actress that have reigned us in. It’s a formula that has worked since the dawn of the genre; place a popular actress or actor in a film and watch people flock to them. Some have launched their careers from the genre and branched out while others have gone to the pool one too many times and found their fan base and star power dwindled. The fact remains that it’s one of the most popular film genres today. Take Care doesn’t break the mold. I’m not going to lie to you and say that it owns the genre, because it still hits a lot of the cliché beats that romcoms are known for. However, it’s what it does with the beats and how it arrives there that manages to be different and better than your average romcom.
The film starts off with Leslie Bibb’s character Franny coming home from the hospital; seh was hit by a car and can’t move one of her legs and arm. Her sister and friend begin to help her up to her apartment in a building without an elevator. Her neighbor comes down stairs and Franny’s sister flags him down asking for help. He reluctantly helps, but remains annoyed the entire time as he eventually puts her on his back and climbs the stairs with her.
Hold on. I know you know the rules of romcoms and you’re thinking that this is the “meet cute” of the film, but it’s not. But then it kind of is. That’s the thing it still plays by the rules, but this red herring of a character actually just ends up being the catalyst for everything in the story and there is growth between these two characters just not romantically.
Eventually everyone in Franny’s life begins to bail on her. Her sister is busy and her house floods; her best friend gets dumped after four years and her one guy friend brings his new beau preventing him from helping Franny the way she needs him to help. After another encounter with the neighbor which only further proves to the audience that they aren’t for each other; we meet Devin played by Thomas Sadoski. As I said before the neighbor is the catalyst and something he says triggers something in Franny as she thinks back to the two years she spent taking care of Devin while he had colon cancer, only to be dumped after his recovery.
This is when the film gets interesting as Devin is basically guilted into helping Franny three times a day. If you think that’s weird than you’re right. Everyone including Devin and his new girlfriend think it’s weird, but he does it. Even Franny finds it weird and lets him out of their deal a couple of times, but Devin sticks with it as he can only imagine the guilt he already feels becoming worse.
Where Take Care succeeds is in not dropping into the pitfalls of the genre. The film takes place mostly in Franny’s apartment so there’s not a big romantic balls to the wall third act. No one is leaving on a plane or dying, the characters just go on living. But they’re very convincing with their relationship. Since there’s no giant pop of action the film relies on real moments like washing hair, sharing a meal or the absence they feel over the weekend when they’re apart. In the process they work out why their relationship ended and erase the lines of who was the “bad guy” and who was the “good guy” in the process. Everyone is the hero of their own story after all and relationships are no exception.
The acting is very good. I don’t know if I would throw an Oscar at anyone, but I was amazed at the caliber of acting that was taking place in a romcom. It works because they’re all bringing their best acting. If there was even one weak link you would instantly notice how good everyone else is. In fact you would say that they are too good for the movie. Instead the entire cast is neck and neck with each other.
Take Care may not win you over to the romantic comedy genre (if you’re lying to yourself that is), especially if you’re all down with love (which is the title of another romantic comedy) to begin with. It’s definitely a film for people who are in love or seeking, but are also tired of the same unrealistic crap that the genre produces over and over. On your next date or date night, check out Take Care and see a slice of your own relationship on the screen.
Writer/Director: Liz Tuccillo Distributor: Entertainment One Run Time: 1:34 Release Date: 12/5/14 Format: Limited Theatrical; VOD