Thomas Sadowski, a rising young leading man, a star if ever there was one, shines in the quirky, dark rom-com “Take Care.” It’s written and directed by Liz Tuccillo, a writer on “Sex and the City”, and the marvelously titled “She’s Just Not That Into You.” It’s a genre piece to say the least. But it’s fighting to get out of the Rom Com box.
And it does this by focusing the film on of all things ~ extreme physical disability after a car crash. The heroine, or should I say, protagonist? Frannie is played by former Elite model and Oprah discovery of the ’80s, Leslie Bibb.
She has a very difficult role to pull off as the super-selfish, vain crash victim. Who has chosen the daunting, if nigh impossible task of caring for herself, ON HER OWN, in a fifth floor walk-up apartment in NYC, when one arm and one leg are, if not in plaster, then incapacitated by slings and pins, etc. They will all come out, of course, because this is not a tragedy, but it veers that way when we are forced to examine Frannie’s extreme crisis situation.
And “Take Care” functions that way best, actually, by making the audience confront the actual examples of day-to-day dealing with extreme disability.
Of course, Frannie will not take the easy course nor will Ms. Truccillo, which would have her recover from her injuries in the comfortable, caring home of her sister in New Jersey. And of course, that wouldn’t be interesting, would it? Where is the drama? Why watch THAT?
So instead we’re posited with the difficult equation of believing that narcissistic Frannie is going to coax her “Devil” of an ex-boy-friend to come over to aid her in her hour of need. Though he patently can’t stand her.
And neither can the audience, until Devon the Devil in the form of the winning Thomas Sadowski turns up, and the film really starts to happen.
She has cared for him when he was recovering from colon cancer, and now wants him to return the favor. And we can certainly see why he does NOT want to take on this screaming mimi of a difficult patient.
The film fails in the casting of Ms. Bibb in the pivotal role of Frannie. It really requires some actress/comedian like Jessica Chastain or Scarlett Johansson to be in that role. As it is Ms. Bibb wears out our patience until the adorable, reluctant Devon, acquiesces to her demands, and thereby hangs a rom-com. Devon is involved with ANOTHER super-neurotic girl-friend, a blonde this time. Frannie is a brunette. And we all know where this plot is headed LONNNNG before it gets there. But Thomas Sadowski is so perfectly believable in this far-fetched role, that he makes this difficult film enjoyable.
Where is the Carole Lombard when you really need her? Oh right, she died in a plane crash in WWII.