“Take Care” is an undemanding romantic comedy about love and responsibility and how doing right by someone always has consequences, not all of them good.
It’s a star vehicle for Leslie Bibb, a perky supporting player in films such as “Iron Man 2” and TV shows such as “About a Boy.” She makes the most of this indie opportunity, milking this part for all its laughs — what few there are.
Bibb is Frannie, a New Yorker suddenly immobilized by a broken leg. She lives in a four story walk-up, so just getting her home is a chore. With her sister (Tracee Chimo) living in New Jersey, her gay BFF (Kevin Curtis) busy all the time and her noisy, self-absorbed neighbor (Michael Stahl-David) not interested, how will she manage?
Feeding herself, her difficult toilet breaks, sponge baths and the like? Insurance will be no help.
The moment Frannie stops weeping, she comes up with a plan. She’ll hassle the guy she cared for when he was battling cancer, the guy who made a killing on an Internet start-up, the guy who dumped her for a blond pretty much as soon as he was cured.
“Take CARE of me!”
And Devon, the sap, falls for it. He (Thomas Sadoski) may be married to Jodi (Betty Gilpin), a spoiled woman of means in her own right who demands all his attention. But somehow, through negotiation and subterfuge, he will do right by Frannie. Finally.
The stars have limited chemistry, and there’s a serious charisma shortage that spreads over “Take Care.” But the marvel of it all is that they and writer-director Liz Tuccillo make us care — just a little — what happens.
Bibb plays Frannie’s guilt over this “inappropriate” thing she’s demanding to the hilt, and Sadoski nicely internalizes the resentment Devon feels about this burden he’s been asked to take on and the memories of his own illness and the heel he was for ditching her the moment he got better.
A few sitcomish situations pay off — meals, toilet breaks and just keeping the shut-in company (“Law & Order” marathons). Their “history” folds into every moment, her vain hopes of getting something back from this man she loved, his fear of what this could do to his marriage, revisiting the routines of their former relationship.
The only real quotable sparks here come from bit players — the hostile neighbor, the surgeon who treated Frannie.
“I’m amazing and chicks dig me.”
But “Take Care” manages, more often than not, to rise to the level of pleasant time killer, a rom-com with just enough surprises to justify getting those New York filming permits.
MPAA Rating: unrated, with adult situations, profanity
Cast: Leslie Bibb, Thomas Sadoski, Betty Gilpin, Tracee Chimo
Credits: Written and directed by Liz Tuccillo. A Phase4 release.
Running time: 1:34