Take Care (April, 17)

When I thought about this kind of "bonus track" to Omad, I planned to watch Take Care as the last movie, just before I went back to stand on both my foot. Things didn't go as I was thought at first, and I have  some time on wheels (maybe just a little bit? Oh, hope). Yesterday, I felt like sharing my experience with a fellow temporary crippled, and put Take Care on the screen.

I have seen bits of it on cable, and always had fun. A girl is run over by a car, has her leg and arm broken and has to be kept out of her feet for a couple of months at least. Her friends are great, but very self absorbed. She doesn't want to leg go of her little flat to stay with her overbearing sister on the suburbs - after all, she probably fought hard for her independence and life in New York. Seeing herself in a difficult situation, she resorts to a way to have the help she needs while setting right something from her past.

What was fun before became too close to me, now that I'm in a relative house arrest after breaking my leg and shoulder in a domestic accident (due entirely to my stupidity and hurry). I was laughing hard, with tears in my eyes, while seeing a fancier, more comic, exaggerated version of what I'm going through.

There's so many small details that I could relate to. The first time we're able to open the fridge by ourselves. The first time out of the confinement of a tiny flat (Leslie Bibb's face on this specific scene, as in many other, is perfect, a sort of childish discover of the world). The visits to the bathroom, the clumsy attempts to gave herself a Kleenex bath (Hey, moist wipes are great :) . How every tiny little daily thing is tremendously hard. The objects surrounding herself while stuck in bed. The attempt of not eating in order not to get fat (it is too late for me, I'm already overweight... But I'm really trying to control my eating, despite spending almost every minute of my days at home). She stuck in bed, and it isn't even her real one, I think... She set up camp in her sofa bed at the living room (bedding settling is a real problem, believe me). 

Her doctor reminded me my own: a true expert, pleasant, funny. He also compliments his own genius work (looking at the X-rays and saying how beautiful it was :). My doctor also didn't tell me exactly how long it will take to walk again. I was looking at the scene in front of me, nodding my head: yep, they're just like that, girl!

I was laughing really hard when I notice something that had no way I could identify before: she has physiotherapy at home (a true luxury), and at one time she is using CPM . Hello, old friend. He is called Continuous Passive Motion, a device proper for some kinds of knee injuries. At the clinic, I named it Creosaldo. He was truly cruel at the beginning (her face on the scene is not an over reaction, I promise you), but now we're good friends. The medieval torture of rope and bonds (50 shades of physiotherapy) is the main cruelty I'm suffering (so much drama, I know).

Bellow, you can see two of the similarities that made this film so close to me at the moment:

 Above, Frannie's X-rays (mine is on the right)

Frannie with CPM - Creosaldo and me 
(No, Frannie is not laughing)

Of course there some different features; the whole movie is not just shared struggles, but those last ones were overwhelming. If we should look at our lives as a movie sometimes, Take Care was a concrete opportunity to do it.

I don't live in a flat with flight and flight of stairs anymore, and many friends pointed out to me how lucky I was just for that. The first scene on the movie is a sample of what I would go through if I hadn't move a couple years ago. The difference on this matter is that I have at least 80 pounds over Leslie Bibb and no neighbour, cranky or not, would carry me up 4 flight of stairs.

The true chasm between our situation, though, are the friends. Her's are nice, dear friends, but too self-absorbed to truly understand all the fragility involved by her state. The gay friend taking a crush from Grinder to her home at the time he would sponge bath her is outrageous - but true. That happens - not frequently to me, thanks my careful friends. The thing is that not just everyone is totally aware of what means to be so dependent and not mobile anymore - and Frannie's friends are miles and miles away of that notion. Her sister is overbearing - worried, yes, but suffocating. All that is heavy stuff to confront while being so incapacitated, struggling with the loss of mobility and independence.

Lucky me my friends are so incredibly amazing. They took a lot from my hands, looking for the right wheel's chair when the first one was too big for my the narrow doorjambs at my flat. They were with me 24/7 for more than ten days, each one giving the time and effort they could (a lot of times they went so far beyond their possibilities). I was surrounded by some much care, love, attention... I'll be grateful for the rest of my life (and for so many lives after).

This way, I didn't had the need to resort to what Frannie was in a way forced to in order to have some minimal comfort and dignity. I don't think she was wrong or that the guilt obligated an ex to care for her. I even think that it was a right thing to do, according, for example, to what advises the systemic therapy (Family Constellations). There was something missing there, not recognized, and by asking help as she did it was possible to heal so many hurt, to recognize what was done and to mend lots of bridges.

Yes, it is a comedy, a romantic flick. This way many things are a bit too much, but they're a part of telling this story. My bigger but is the characterization of Devon's girlfriend. She is insecure, needy, despite being successful, beautiful, wealth and all the things we wrongly associate to a strong emotional being.  Not by chance Devon is with her - he becomes stronger on her side, after a couple of years being the fragile part of a relationship. However, Betty Gilpin and her character didn't deserve to be transformed in one of the White Chicks - a caricature woman. It is too much, even for comic effects. The over cranky neighbour, though, is perfect. It was Joe who reminded that the actor was the same guy of In Your Eyes, a dear movie for both of us. Watching the movie aware of this allowed me to like him much more here (and I was already a fan of his bluntness in this movie).

It is an odd mystery what happens inside of each one of us. We don't always are aware or able to understand what hurts more to someone. And there's no sense to try to input to others our pain and resentments - I truly hate when someone tries to blame their issues on me (it makes me furious sometimes). But I try to constantly understand that it is a sign of a deep hurt, and if the person is important to me, I try to listen and attempt any way to help in the way that is suit to that person. Sometimes the hurt is so gigantic that there's no way of communication. However, if there's something we become aware when totally depending of others, is that the help must fit to the one that is receiving it - we don't help in our own terms, despite only doing what we're capable of. We help on the other's terms, and that's the lesson to Devon - he was both recipient and giver, and through two different occasions, he learns how to deal with both.

I see a lot in this story, but I'm aware that not everybody, specially the critics, see the same. If I was able to recognize many important subjects in the movie before, now I have in it a friend to talk about a similar trouble. It was so good to have its help on this day. That's cinema for  me: a way to confront myself, my own life, while understanding others and their issues. I couldn't ask for a better partner.

Take Care. Directed and written by Liz Tuccillo. Cast: Leslie Bibb, Thomas
Sadoski, Michael Stahl-David. USA, 2014, Color, 94 min.

PS: I hope my my next appointment will go as Frannie's: the doc will look at me and will tell me to get out of there - walking. I think it is more complicated than that (the movie always seemed very simplistic in this matter), but I'll hope (cautiously) anyway :)

PPS: It is always good to see Thomas Sadoski. He reminds me of Newsroom, an amazing TV show. And his character was so good - complicated, easy to hate and love :)

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