Netflix’s Dark Comedy ‘I Care a Lot’ Misses the Mark

Photo Credit/YouTube

Angelisse Alvarez

Contributing Writer

The Netflix black comedy, “I Care a Lot,” has garnered a wide scope of think pieces since its release.  

It stars Rosamund Pike as Marla Grayson, a court-appointed guardian who targets the elderly alongside fellow healthcare scammers. Her girlfriend Fran, played by Eliza González, is also her business partner in cahoots.  

In court, Marla declares handpicked seniors as unable to care for themselves. She insists they are in desperate need of her care. Eventually she bleeds them dry of all money and possessions.  

Rosamund Pike is excellent, as she always is. There is never a time when she doesn’t deliver, and she commands the screen as Marla. She and Eliza González have fantastic chemistry — I love the passion and heat between them.  

The film attempts to expose viewers to this exploitation of elders in a way that is digestible through comedy, which is initially effective. The movie is good for a minute.  

Jennifer Peterson, one of Marla’s victims played by Dianne Wiest, is great. At first her character is heartbreaking to watch, as we closely observe how the system strips elders of their autonomy through Peterson.   

She then becomes absolutely wild during surprising moments. Her character poses an unexpected challenge to Marla, which made me laugh. Their interactions are some of the best scenes.  

The black-comedy eventually meets thriller as it progresses — mafia run-ins, near death experiences and wild twists.  

I think the concept of the film is unique, as is having Marla as its main character. There was a lot of potential here.  

But the film struggles as it progresses, to the point it gets silly and parts become laughable (excluding the intentionally comedic moments.) It seems like there was intent to be as entertaining as possible plot wise, but sometimes this is to a fault. I usually love when movies get wild with it, but I’m not sure the execution worked in this case.  

One interesting thing about this film though is its great nuance. Marla is a symbol of capitalism and a textbook archetype of white feminism.   

The film is aware of this. Marla often reiterates she isn’t intimidated by men. Men threaten her throughout the film and she is completely unbothered, which is refreshing to watch. Her monologues lean towards a similar sentiment. All the while she benefits from her predatory business.  

Some think the film is unintentionally ironic about its portrayal of this, but that isn’t true. These coexisting aspects of Marla’s character are the point here. People should know by now that portrayal does not equal endorsement, and we should always welcome a broad scope of female villains as main characters.  

However, the film doesn’t commit to the different ideas it throws out there too well. It feels like anything interesting that we get becomes muddled by the silly directions the film teeters off to. The writing declines in quality.    

Pike’s consistent talent is the only thing that kept me engaged.  

The film’s conclusion is a lot to unpack and could warrant an entirely new article. Many feel it serves a satisfying purpose, but I don’t agree with this. I think the ending is cheap. 

This view is difficult to articulate without spoiling, but it just feels unbalanced. It almost rebuffs the initial uniqueness of the film.  

“I Care a Lot” started off strong and compelling. But in the end, it’s just okay. It’s not a bad film, but I don’t think it’s a must watch.  

Email Angelisse at: