Rosamund Pike was one of my first crushes.
Who couldn’t help but fall for her in “Gone Girl?” She was inventive, intelligent, cold, calculating and gorgeous: everything I look for in a significant other.
When I found out that she was playing a queer character in a Netflix original, I was exhilarated. “I Care a Lot” promised all of the intensity and intricacy of “Gone Girl” with none of the toxic masculinity … or so I thought.
The film is impressive. The action is paired tastefully with rich character development, giving us a complete view of Pike’s character, Marla Grayson, a court-appointed guardian to the elderly and a vicious businesswoman.
The cutthroat “work” Marla is contrasted beautifully by “girlfriend” Marla, who is deeply devoted to her partner, Fran (Eliza Gonzalez). Together, the pair support each other in their business and personal lives, contributing equally to the relationship.
When Grayson is appointed as the guardian of Jennifer Peterson (Dianne West), an elderly woman with a vast fortune and no relatives, Grayson thinks she has finally found the cash cow that will allow her and Fran financial security. Unfortunately, Peterson’s ties to the Russian mafia complicate the situation, and Grayson ends up facing a lot more adversity than she bargained for.
Fighting for her and Fran’s survival, she lives through a car accident, an apartment explosion and a violent interrogation. In the end, she and Fran conspire to take down the mafioso (Peter Dinklage) who took everything away from them.
I don’t want to spoil too much, but Grayson does overcome her adversaries and ends up on top as a wealthy CEO of her own guardianship corporation, in addition to a pharmaceutical company and several care facilities. In the final scene, she and Fran walk out from a TV interview together hand-in-hand, draped in designer clothes.
At this point in the film, my best friend and I were cheering.
“Best. Lesbian. Movie. EVER!” she whooped.
I was equally as excited. Sure, Marla Grayson wasn’t a good person, but it was nice to see a lesbian couple end a movie together happy.
Unfortunately, our celebration was premature.
In the last 30 seconds of the film, Grayson is shot and killed by the son of her former ward.
While some reviews of this film have emphasized that this death is necessary to show that Grayson is mortal and not as invincible as the film leads you to believe, the ending is only rooted in shock value.
J. Blakeson wanted to force a final gasp from his audience as he kills off the main character we have come to root for.
The ending isn’t genius or thought-provoking; it’s a crude use of female mutilation to increase streams.
Once again, a lesbian is tossed away at the end of a film so that critics and audience members can praise the director for his cinematic genius and bravery.
I’m sick of seeing gay characters thrown aside because they’re expendable. Hollywood, here’s a bit of advice: Never leave a straight man to do a queer woman’s job.