Review of I Care a Lot (spoilers)

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Review of I Care a Lot (spoilers)

Post by gnome »

Another in a series of movies gnome watches so that you don't have to.

It's almost impossible to discuss the appeal of this movie without spoiling the early surprise. However, I think I have to, because it's one of those movies that's ALMOST really good and then chokes at the end. If you're forgiving and want to see an actually decent performance even if the plot suddenly bugs you at the end, stop now and go ahead and watch.

This is a film about an attractive pair of lesbian con artists, as the plucky underdogs against a brutal mobster. If you watch it you will root for the mobster, even if you love films about con artists, attractive lesbians, and plucky underdogs.

This is because their con is running an elderly care facility, the kind where they use legal trickery, bribes, and personal connections to declare various elderly victims as mentally unsound, take guardianship of them against their will, force them into their facility, isolate them from their families, and then sell everything the victim owns, all with a smile on their face and the ability to use the law as their weapon and defense. The movie knows you will hate them--putting your face in it, showing the frustrated victim's inability to leave, contact anyone outside, or have any say in their "treatment", showing the con artists dancing and making love in the home of the confused old lady they just legally kidnapped and robbed. Thankfully not too explicit, as again the movie seems to understand the viewers despise the pair by now.

So far, a pretty hard-hitting inversion of movies that portray con artists in comedic, sympathetic plotlines. I was uncomfortable, in the kind of way avante-garde artists strive for their audience to be.

The first time the movie sparked joy was when they revealed that the victim was the mother of a powerful mobster--played by Peter Dinklage with total seriousness. After being so frustrated at how the con artists abused the legal system in their favor, I was ready to cheer for opposition that didn't feel the need to follow the rules. And the movie runs with that for a while. You get to root for the sleazy lawyer, the skeezy operatives and brute thugs that work for Angry-Tyrion-with-American-Accent. The viewer can enjoy the con artists' fear, desperation, and ultimately, suffering... in a way I ordinarily would be unable to, except for how much I hate this kind of con with a white hot passion. This guardianship scam is something that happens to people in real life, and it's a nightmare.

This is when the movie starts to falter--the gangsters forget their evil overlord rules and don't just shoot them. One of the con artists is beaten and left for dead, the other made to crash her car into a lake. Uh-oh. Of course they manage to survive, and overcome the mobster with movie hijinks. I'm not happy, but I recognize the movie really can't be, "and then the mobster killed everyone, the end." So I'm waiting to see what comes of it.

The mobster abruptly agrees to become partners with the main con lady, and help her build more facilities--and DOESN'T stab her in the back, shoot them both, bury them, and pave over it all with a new parking lot the moment he's free of her power. It shows her becoming famous, wealthy, and influential, spouting platitudes for TV interviewers. Then she gets shot and killed by the ordinary family member of one of her victims. The sudden abandonment of her conflict with the mobster with no further consequences or intrigue just killed my enjoyment of the film, and even her death was no satisfaction.

The movie ending I wanted: the mobster's mother, on several occasions, proved not to be so weak or feeble-minded as she was sometimes portraying. She already had some of the best scenes--bursting into laughter when she found out her son was trying to get to her, and from that point being impervious to her captor's attempts to demoralize her. I wanted her to rally her son's remaining men, rescue him, and finish off the two con artists with a viciousness that her son balked at. THAT would have been an ending--the elderly victim herself taking down her abusers.

Instead we got... not that. The movie ends with a whimper.
Last edited by gnome on Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Review of I Care a Lot (spoilers)

Post by ed »

"Plucky". Not a good sign.

ETA: Greta is "plucky".
Last edited by ed on Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Review of I Care a Lot (spoilers)

Post by shemp »

Thank you for your service, gnome. I'll now add this to the list of over 43,000,000 films that I will never waste my time watching.
Rob Lister
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Re: Review of I Care a Lot (spoilers)

Post by Rob Lister »

I loved this movie.
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Re: Review of I Care a Lot (spoilers)

Post by gnome »

I wanted to. I was all in until about ten minutes before the end.
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Re: Review of I Care a Lot (spoilers)

Post by Nyarlathotep »

Pretty much agree. It sucked and I want the 8 and a half billion years that I felt like I spent watching it back