The new comedic thriller “I Care a Lot,” written and directed by J Blakeson, has so much happening, at times it can seem hard to keep up. A film about a con artist couple who routinely become legal guardians of the elderly, place them in care homes, and siphon off their finances, the plot moves at a necessary, rapid speed. There are many different facets at play in this movie, and most of the time they work together harmoniously. Most of the time. But let us start with the positives of the film.
Rosamund Pike is, far and away, the best part of this movie. Her character, expert con artist Marla Grayson, has drawn many comparisons to her most well-known role, Amy Dunne in the 2014 thriller Gone Girl. While that is surely understandable, as both characters are cunning, practical antiheroines, Pike is just too engaging for an audience to care about that for long. With the most convincing American accent I’ve seen in years, she maneuvers her scenes with the expertise and ego of someone who cannot imagine themselves being stopped.
Until she messes with the wrong person. Or, more accurately, the wrong person’s mother. She sticks Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Weist) in a care home for the elderly just like any other case, until Grayson finds herself with consistent monetary offers and threats to release Peterson, all at the behest of a very successful crime lord (Peter Dinklage).
The ensuing conflict is riveting. Pike’s interactions with Weist offer a consistent breath of fresh air, and Dinklage is particularly well cast as Grayson’s rival. Eiza Gonzalez plays Grayson’s partner in crime/girlfriend and allows us to see a more vulnerable side of Grayson.
While the color palette of the film is oftentimes very pleasing, and Pike’s blonde bob is a star all on its own, not every aspect of this film was enjoyable. The electronic score occasionally took me out of the story just when I had been pulled farther in, and there was one scene that was edited so poorly I had to avert my eyes until it was over (strobe warning to photosensitive viewers).
Still, this movie is a lot of fun. Not a laugh out loud comedy, the best sight gag by far being Grayson’s vape which seems to grow with every scene in which she uses it, but a good hour and a half nonetheless. But only if the viewer is ready for a wild ride.
By Jackie Hines