I Care a Lot (2020)
February 23, 2021 8:46 AM - Subscribe

A crooked legal guardian who drains the savings of her elderly wards meets her match when a woman she tries to swindle turns out to be more than she first appears.
posted by gaspode (21 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This is one of those movies where a bad guy becomes the good guy, or at least plays with your sympathies, before becoming the bad guy again. Some great performances and a riveting narrative, but I kept hating that I had any sympathy for her at all. Also, how common are those emergency guardianships? Is that really a thing that can't be contested?
posted by Stanczyk at 9:43 AM on February 23, 2021

just watched this the other night. gonna say...did not like. the main character (Pike) is completely antipathetic, I believe intentionally. the clothes, the haircut, very offputting. Dinklage's villain is more sympathetic to me. but also...

can we just talk about dragging that tired old trope of 'evil lesbians' out of the 90s dustbin? fer realz??? ugh.
posted by supermedusa at 10:05 AM on February 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

I haven't seen this yet (planning to), but based on what I've seen from the trailer, it might be worth watching the Last Week Tonight segment on guardianship.
posted by gladly at 12:36 PM on February 23, 2021 [3 favorites]

I had high hopes for this and it started out well but, man, it went down the toilet fast. Even Peter Dinklage couldn't save this heap of garbage.
posted by essexjan at 1:49 PM on February 23, 2021 [3 favorites]

I enjoyed bits of it. I liked the performances. And I liked that I had no idea how it would end (although I did say to my husband when Dinklage had her tied to the chair that I thought he would suggest going into business together, so...) but as a whole it felt lacking. And Dianne Wiest was wasted.
posted by gaspode at 4:13 PM on February 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

I liked this more than I thought I would, given that I am not usually a fan of the "assholes being assholes to other assholes" genre. Really enjoyed the performances.

To me the weakest bit was all the "you're mad because you were beaten by a WOMAN" stuff at the beginning. I think it was supposed to make her seem like a badass? Or maybe drive home the sort of ~*Girlbosses: Are They Really Feminist*~ thing that was sort of going on? Anyway, it just detracted from the character and the movie.
posted by Anonymous at 4:46 PM on February 23, 2021

I was so disappointed by this one because I expected the focus character to be the woman whose nicely-ordered life was upended by a stranger with legal power over her. How much more interesting would it have been if, instead of her son being dangerous, she was the one to fear? If she’d spent her adult life being the one who made deals, took risks and made her wealth by doing what others couldn’t or wouldn’t do — then set up a quiet identity for herself, only to have her autonomy snatched away by a two-bit con artist who viewed her as a helpless, friendless walking bank account? I wanted to see what a woman like that would do when she was kept from all contact and routinely sedated. And I wanted the delicious moment when her captor understood she hadn’t scammed your average little old lady — she’d sealed her own doom.

I didn’t get any of that so I write it out in my head instead!
posted by shirobara at 5:42 PM on February 23, 2021 [26 favorites]

On the subject of guardianships, I think this (horrifying) New Yorker article was a major inspiration for the movie.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 5:54 PM on February 23, 2021 [6 favorites]

This movie was bizarrely entertaining to me but I couldn't possibly recommend it. It was more of a roller coaster of disgust and shock with the underlying horror of knowing it's based on real stuff.

The opening scene where the over-the-top angry white man being dressed down for honest anger is surreal. It felt very weird and I thought we were going to get a super anti-woman movie. Maybe it was super anti-woman but I felt it was more of an antI Marla Grayson movie.

I can't help but thinking if the roles were switched and the woman was the righteously angry person and the man was the "villain" if that scene would have been anything more than a predictable setup for a phenomal antihero performance. Marla Grayson and Walter White share the same ego, no?

This movie had me rooting against the "bad guy" and when she climbed out of the water my wife and I were like no way it is that kind of movie? And when the hospital scene hit and everyone wins I gave the film a little bravo, well done, I am begrudgingly entertained.

My only complaint is that happy Hollywood ending. It should have ended on the smilling face of Marla Grayson in the interview not the curb outside. Too tidy.
posted by M Edward at 6:20 PM on February 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

At what point did people have sympathy for Marla? She preyed on vulnerable people with no way to defend themselves. Did she have a moment of redemption that I missed? The whole thing left me pissed off and unsatisfied that she didn’t get run over by a steamroller after the first scenes.
posted by Bacon Bit at 12:40 PM on February 24, 2021 [8 favorites]

I hated this movie so much. At no point did I feel even remotely bad for Marla or any of her cohorts. You know the main character is bad when you're rooting for the drug traffickers. I was so angry about what was happening to her victims and hoping there would be some payback or justice. I've decided that Marla is like Mitch McConnell in heels. I don't know why but that's what popped into my head. Just terrible. I would have very much enjoyed shirobara's version.
posted by mokeydraws at 5:30 PM on February 26, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yup. I wanted her smashed in the face the first time she refused to knuckle under.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:22 AM on February 27, 2021

I absolutely had no sympathy for Marla. The character I was rooting for "Jennifer Peterson." She's really the only character who even seems remotely sympathetic. I wanted her to at least have moment where she triumphed over Marla. But nope.

I agree that Shirobara's idea for the film is far more satisfying to me.

I was surprised the critics enjoyed this one so much (80% on rotten tomatoes) while audiences generally found the movie extremely lacking. I am definitely in that category.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:16 PM on February 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Man, I was really looking forward to this. I love Pike as an antihero. This was too much, and I needed real comeuppance for her character. The actual story of April Parks is more satisfying than Marla Greyson.

Dianne Weist was absolutely wasted. I just saw her in Let Them All Talk, and she's excellent in both of these. She would be perfect as the lead of shirobara's version.
posted by gladly at 7:40 AM on March 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

> How much more interesting would it have been if, instead of her son being dangerous, she was the one to fear?

By the time I got around to watching it, I'd misremembered that Helen Mirren played the Dianne Wiest role, so, as a physical badass.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:03 AM on March 14, 2021

I'm coming to this thread way, way late, but I just watched it and my dislike of it was validated by many of these points. I was really disappointed, and like many of you I was thinking it would be an empowering tale about the older woman fighting back, instead of a race to the bottom by various morally bankrupt people. With bonus fear-Googling about what will happen to me in old age after the movie ended! Not great and I regret watching.
posted by rogerroger at 5:32 PM on June 26, 2021

Put me down as another one who thought a Wiest v Pike showdown was on the cards, with a side of Catch 22/One flew over the cuckoos nest. Would have been a much better story. I did enjoy the score (though I'm not really sure it fit), and Rosamund Pike was charming/loathsome enough to keep me watching, but it could have been much more.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:20 AM on August 14, 2021

Arghh, the opening scenes of this movie made me so angry and so anxious. The twists and turns were kind of enjoyable, but ultimately this wasn't a believable or satisfying movie.

I don't believe that Roman's thugs wouldn't have made absolutely sure that Marla and Fran were dead (they'd have been too afraid of their boss to mess up), so the plot falls apart on that point.

And I don't buy that Marla's business could become some enormous national concern without serious complications, such as a Senate investigation, a change in the guardianship laws, criminal prosecution and/or civil law suits. She got THAT many doctors and nurses and judges and law enforcement officers and security guards and nursing home staffers doing what amounts to highway abductions and robbery without anyone blowing the whistle on it? The media was so uncritical/incurious about it that she was selected for the cover of Forbes and other magazines? Come on.

I know guardianship is real and a huge problem, but I find it so difficult to believe that it could reach *that* scale without everyone knowing what an absolutely disgusting business Marla was engineering and without her at least becoming nationally reviled. She would also have been getting many death threats and would have had a security detail, so while I rather enjoyed seeing her gunned down in the street, it wasn't plausible.

I also wanted to see her suffer more. Much, much more.

This movie came up as a suggestion I googled "comedy movie", and it so wasn't a comedy.
posted by orange swan at 9:03 PM on August 20, 2021

I forgot to mention, Dianne Wiest glare smiling at Marla and saying, "Then have at it, you little crock of cunt," was GLORIOUS. I love Wiest and she was wonderful in this movie as she always is. I wish she'd been given more to do.

Also... Peter Dinklage doing a handstand on those gymnastic rings was a jaw dropper. I mean... he really did that.
posted by orange swan at 4:40 AM on August 21, 2021

orange swan, check out the article and video above--the level of abuse really does go that far.
posted by Anonymous at 6:02 AM on August 21, 2021

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