Gaslight, gatekeep, girl boss: Netflix’s new film, “I Care A Lot”

Written By Jordyn Hronec, Editor-in-Chief

4 Globes out of 5


In 2021, Netflix is set to release a new film every week. On Feb. 19, it released “I Care a Lot,” written and directed by J Blakeson. 

And in this reviewer’s opinion, “I Care a Lot” was one of Netflix’s most successful movie ventures to date.

This is largely due to Rosamund Pike’s standout lead performance, which earned her a Golden Globe award this year for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.” But it also had a lot to do with fantastic writing on Blakeson’s end, along with a very original premise. 

“I Care a Lot” is about Marla Grayson, a con woman who makes her living as a court-appointed guardian to the elderly, who are all deemed medically unable to care for themselves or their assets. The film follows her on her path of exploitation, even as she encounters complications in the form of taking on a ward with ties to the Russian mob. Peter Dinklage, in the role of a Russian mobster, is also delightful. 

Pike, however, pulled out all of the stops. And upon seeing other reviewers’ remarks on the acclaimed app, Letterboxd, I decided to view the 2014 David Fincher-directed “Gone Girl,” as well. Pike earned high accolades for her role as Amy Elliott Dunne, a manipulative mastermind who runs away after staging her own death and framing her husband, Nick (Ben Affleck). Her role in “I Care a Lot” is definitely similar in its deviousness. 

Marla Grayson is just a cooler and less emotional Amy Dunne. With her angular blunt bob, monochromatic pantsuits, white sneakers, and vape pen, she is strong and fashion-forward. Oh, and she’s a lesbian. This aspect of her character troubled me a bit. Was I okay with this lesbian representation, even if the lesbians being portrayed were horrible people? Is that a good representation?

Similar questions were posed regarding the movie “Gone Girl,” actually. Was it progressive to portray a woman as manipulative, crazy, and evil? Gillian Flynn, the author of the novel “Gone Girl,” that the movie was based on said that her motive in making Amy such a horrible person was that women and femininity in the media must often be portrayed as inherently good. It’s also worth mentioning that Nick, Amy’s husband, was also pretty horrible. “Gone Girl” isn’t about a horrible woman, but rather, two horrible people who are married. And “I Care a Lot” isn’t about lesbians who exploit the elderly, but rather a system that allows the elderly to be exploited for capitalistic gain. And it’s about the Russian mob.

Isn’t it realistic to let characters simply be? In life, some people are good and some people are manipulators. Some people are abusers. The world is fraught with them. And any of these people, be they good or not-so-good, can just so happen to be women or lesbians. 

“I Care a Lot” is a great film to watch if you don’t mind rooting for the bad guy. Or if you are looking for a movie that doesn’t seem to know who its bad guy even is. If you were a fan of “Gone Girl,” definitely give this a view. It’s similar in its dosage of Rosamund Pike craziness, but a bit funnier, more tongue-in-cheek, and a whole lot more satisfying in the end. 

Marla Grayson is a gaslighter. She’s a gatekeeper. And she’s a girl boss. She’s reprehensible, but she’s also incredibly fun to watch on screen, in kind of a twisted way.