I Care a Lot ending explained and all your questions answered (2024)

If you've just finished I Care a Lot, you probably need a moment to let it all sink in. This jam-packed thriller, available on Netflix or Amazon Prime Videodepending on your region, has it all: memorable characters, a twist-after-twist plot and Rosamund Pike's invincible Lego haircut. To cap it all off, the story was inspired by real-life events. Let's go through some of I Care a Lot's biggest questions and discuss that shock ending.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Where can I stream I Care a Lot?

Depending on your region, you can stream I Care a Lot on either Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Netflix offers it for the US, France, Germany, Latin America, South Africa, the Middle East and India. Amazon Prime has it for Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Is I Care a Lot based on a true story?

J Blakeson wrote (and directed) I Care a Lot after he was inspired by real news stories of professional guardians in America and a "legal loophole" they exploited. "It started when I saw news stories about real-life predatory guardians who game the system and exploit their wards," he said.

Blakeson said he went down a "Google rabbit hole" in researching the film. "I was horrified. Imagine opening your door one day and there is a person standing there holding a piece of paper that gives them total legal power over you." He added, "This provided a lot of themes that interested me, like ambition, the American Dream, and humans becoming commodities. So the story started there. I sat and wrote it on my own and very quickly it formed into what is now I Care a Lot."

What's the guardianship phenomenon?

If you choose to dig deeper into the dark, immoral side of Marla Grayson, The New Yorker has a 2017 essay on the guardianship phenomenon.

What's with the vaping?

Marla Grayson and her vape pen are never far apart. According to Rosamund Pike, this reflects Grayson's roots in a vaping company, a part of her backstory that didn't make it into the film.

"The backstory of Marla is that she had a vape business until she was Walmart-ed out of business by a great big discount vape store opening across the street, which she was furious about," Pike told Collider. "I think that was her shot at the American dream played fair. She had a small-time business, she was a small-time business owner, she got screwed and then she thought, 'Right. Chips are down. I'm going all out. I'm gonna play the system like everybody else.' And I think every time she inhales, it's bringing that attitude to it. It's the attitude of having been screwed and now you're out to screw everybody."

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Does Jennifer Peterson get out of the nursing home at the end?

You might have noticed we don't see much more of Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest) around the halfway point, once Marla has her committed to a psychiatric ward. So does she ever make it out? Marla and Roman (Peter Dinklage) discuss Jennifer at the end, when Marla again asks for $10 million to have her released. Instead, Roman pulls a wild card and offers to partner up with Marla to build a global nursing home business. Since Marla accepts, we assume she does see to Jennifer's release as part of the deal.

Why did Marla have to die?

Not only does Marla's death come right when she appears to have everything she wanted, but it yanks a happy ending from her love Fran (Eiza González) too. While this comeuppance might be warranted, it's bittersweet. Rosamund Pike and J Blakeson discussed the ending with USA Today.

"In my head, Marla never believed she was going to die," Pike told USA Today. "I mean, right until the point that she breathes her last, I think she still thinks she's going to win and she's going to get out of it. I really do."

Blakeson said, "People find the ending satisfying, but it leaves a bittersweet taste in their mouth because we end with the most likable character in the movie screaming in despair."

If you still have conflicting feelings about Marla getting shot, Blakeson gave Cinemablend another explanation of why it might make you feel a certain way.

"What I like about the ending ... is that I think it's the kind of thing that people think they want, and they sort of enjoy it, but then hopefully, like five minutes later, it leaves a bittersweet taste in the mouth of, 'Should I want that? Should I enjoy that? What does that mean?' There's conventions of cinema and things about rooting for people and empathy, and it's interesting that it's all laid in there."

Was that always the ending?

If you're in the camp that expected Marla to get off scot-free for her dastardly deeds, Blakeson did entertain an alternative ending (but ultimately decided it didn't work).

"In the edit, you try lots of different things and different ways. You never want to have an avenue that's not explored. And we tried the other avenue, and it just felt too [strange]. That that could be how the world works, you know what I mean?" Blakeson told Cinemablend.

What happens to Fran?

While it's heartbreaking that Fran loses her love, Blakeson said she does inherit Marla's share and role in the nursing home empire. This isn't necessarily a good thing, though, because old folks "are going to continue to be screwed over in a real way," Blakeson told USA Today. "You can chop the head off the hydra, but there's another one that will keep living."

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I Care a Lot ending explained and all your questions answered (2024)


What happened at the end of I Care a Lot? ›

The women kidnap Roman, drug him, and leave him for dead in the street. But once again, he doesn't die. Roman wakes up in the hospital, a tube down his throat, and Marla's canary yellow stilettos resting on his bed. She tells him that she is now his legal guardian because he is a “John Doe” at the hospital.

What happens to Marla at the end of I Care a Lot? ›

The judge rules in Marla's favor, however, leading to the man pledging that he will kill her. In the final scene of the film, he finally gets the chance, shooting her after doing the interview. We see her shot in the heart, bleeding out in the arms of girlfriend Fran (Eiza González).

Does Marla get what she deserves in I Care a Lot? ›

Not only does Marla's death come right when she appears to have everything she wanted, but it yanks a happy ending from her love Fran (Eiza González) too. While this comeuppance might be warranted, it's bittersweet.

Who shoots Marla in I Care a Lot? ›

Roman is reunited with Jennifer, while Marla marries Fran. While leaving a TV interview, Marla is shot by Feldstrom. He says that his mother died alone in the assisted living facility because no one would let him see her. As Feldstrom is arrested, Fran cries out for help as Marla bleeds to death in her arms.

Why does she put her tooth in milk in I Care a Lot? ›

You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. Milk is preferable to water in keeping the tooth moist because that prevents the cells of the tooth root's surface from swelling up and bursting (as they would in H2O), according to Dr.

Why does Marla vape in I Care a Lot? ›

“The backstory of Marla is that she had a vape business until she was Walmart-ed out of business by a great big discount vape store opening across the street, which she was furious about. I think that was her shot at the American dream played fair.

What did Marla put in the milk? ›

Those who saw I Care A Lot's tooth in milk scene may want to know why Marla put her tooth in a jug of milk and if the beverage can save a person's loose teeth in real life.

Does Marla know who Tyler is? ›

Marla at first doesn't know the difference between the Narrator and Tyler, since she sees them as the same person. Later, she says that she can tell the difference, choosing to “like” the Narrator, instead of Tyler.

Is I Care a Lot lgbt? ›

Character Information

Fran is a lesbian character from I Care a Lot.

Who is the villain in I Care a Lot? ›

Marla Grayson. Marla Grayson is the protagonist villain of the 2020 acclaimed film I Care a Lot. She is a professional legal guardian who has elderly people put into care homes and appoints herself as their legal guardian to attain control of all of their assets.

Is "I care a lot" a true story? ›

While I Care a Lot is fictional, the Parks case also inspired the 2018 documentary, The Guardians, directed by award-winning filmmaker Billie Mintz, and his film details the terrifying true events that ravaged the Nevada guardianship industry.

What happens to the old lady in I Care a Lot? ›

So, it is only fitting that I Care a Lot ends with Marla dying. In fact, it wouldn't make sense for it to end any other way. Marla already made it clear that money is worth dying for, and now she has more money than anyone could ever need.

Will there be AI Care A Lot 2? ›

However, it's possible that J Blakeson could take an anthology approach, which means that he could write a brand-new story about greed and business in America (or elsewhere). In that case, I Care a Lot 2 could theoretically release sometime in 2023, at least if Netflix feels the need to prioritize a second movie.

What is the plot of I Care a Lot summary? ›

What is the real story behind I Care a Lot? ›

And Marla Grayson is not a real person. Well, not exactly, anyway. The movie is, however, drawn from numerous real-life guardianship scams that target the wealth and independence of older, vulnerable Americans. Sadly, these kinds of situations occur far more often than you'd think.

Could the plot of I Care a Lot happen? ›

Marla's character and the exact story in I Care a Lot is fictional, but there seem to be parallels with real-life crimes.

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