Take Me (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Pat Healy|
|Written by||Mike Makowsky|
|Cinematography||Nathan M. Miller|
|Edited by||F. Brian Scofield|
|Distributed by||The Orchard|
Entrepreneur Ray Moody runs a business in which clients pay him for the experience of a simulated kidnapping. An interview for a loan goes poorly when Ray attempts to explain his business model to an incredulous banker. Although Ray has a strained relationship with his sister Natalie, as she disapproves of his business, he turns to her husband Tom, for money.
Stuart, an overeater, has contracted Ray to stage an aggressive intervention over eight hours. Ray tell Stuart he cheats on his diet, and then forces Stuart to consume a dozen of his favourite hamburgers. After the eight-hour session ends, Stuart thanks Ray and asserts that he has lost his appetite for hamburgers.
Ray is elated when a new client, Anna, contacts him, seeking an extended session that will last the entire weekend. His joy turns to scepticism when Anna requests that he hit her. Although he initially refuses the job, Ray calls her back and accepts. After conducting their business over the phone, Ray performs surveillance on her, and she leaves him a message telling him to be more discreet. Ray simulates a carjacking and takes her hostage that weekend, never breaking character. Impressed with her own ability to stay in character, Ray is forced to take a break to reassure himself that he has the confidence and skill to pull off the scenario. Ray aggressively interrogates Anna about a made-up client, demanding access to non-existent files.
Although initially scared and obedient, Anna soon adopts a more mocking tone with him, accusing him of being a pervert who has abducted her under flimsy premises. Enraged, he almost strikes her, and she again mocks him for his reluctance. After hitting her, Ray leaves to pay back Tom. Natalie discovers the envelope filled with money and surmises its purpose, angry that her husband would finance Ray's bizarre business. Natalie confronts Ray and realizes that he is using their parents' house for his scenarios, and Ray becomes frustrated when she interrupts his session. After she leaves, Ray hears on the news the police are investigating Anna's disappearance. Rattled, Ray attempts to talk to Anna, who stabs him in the back with an improvised weapon.
The police show up at Ray's house. Panicking, he binds Anna in the basement as he deflects the police officers' questions. After bandaging himself, he attempts to clear up the situation with Anna, who claims to have no knowledge of his business. Ray shows her the contract she digitally signed and plays back her earlier phone message, both of which she dismisses as fabrications. Confused and fearing he has kidnapped an unwilling person, Ray agrees to let her go. However, at the last moment, he swallows her car keys, saying that he can not let her go until they figure out an alibi that allows him – and Natalie, who he says is an innocent bystander – to escape jail time. After Anna shoots him several times with his pellet gun, Ray attempts to regurgitate the keys, only for Anna to slip and fall unconscious.
When Anna wakes, Ray has taken her to a vacation home. There, they discuss their pasts, both revealing that they are divorced. Ray says his ex-wife, who co-founded the business, accused him of criminal wrongdoing. She agrees not to go to the police, but asks him to explain more details about what she accused him of. Anna suggests he gets off on violence and power, and he chokes her in response. She knocks him unconscious with a fire poker. Armed with Tom's rifle, Anna takes Ray hostage, threatening to shoot him unless he submits to riding in her car's trunk, a punishment he had subjected her to several times. At the end of the ride back to the city, Anna happily thanks him for the experience and offers to invest in his business. Stunned, Ray can only mumble a response. He stumbles back home, and sees Stuart in a restaurant. As Stuart waves at him, Ray cries, then laughs when he sees Stuart is eating a salad.
- Pat Healy as Ray Moody
- Taylor Schilling as Anna St. Blair
- Alycia Delmore as Natalie
- Jim O'Heir as Stuart
- Brooke Dillman as Cathy
- Toby Huss as Officer Judkins
- Alejandro Patino as Officer Ramirez
- Mark Kelly as Tom
The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 25, 2017. Prior to Tribeca, The Orchard acquired distribution rights to the film and set it for a May 5, 2017 release.
Take Me holds a 68% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 19 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.9/10. On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 56 out of 100 based on 10 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Sheila O'Malley of RogerEbert.com rated the film 3 1/2 out of 4 stars, praising the actors' on-screen chemistry and "an extremely funny script by Mike Makowsky." Nick Schager of Variety also gave the film a positive review, determining its ability to "exploit its screwy premise for both unnerving laughs and volatile thrills." John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter highlighted Healy's direction in particular, citing it as "exactly the mix of comical bumbling and psychological tension he wants here, executing the premise in a way sure to please fans of his distinctive body of work... and impress a few new ones along the way."
Neil Genzlinger's review in The New York Times was more tepid, claiming that "parts of it work, but the overall package is never really suspenseful enough to have you on edge or overtly funny enough to be a lark."
- "Take Me". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
- Brooks, Brian (May 5, 2017). "'Risk' Faces Julian Assange; Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning, Susan Sarandon Are '3 Generations' – Specialty B.O. Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- Cox, Gordon (March 2, 2017). "Tribeca Film Festival Unveils 2017 Feature Film Slate (FULL LIST)". Variety. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
- "Take Me". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
- N'Duka, Amanda (March 6, 2017). "The Orchard Nabs Taylor Schilling Dark Comedy 'Take Me' Ahead Of Tribeca Debut". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
- McNary, Dave (March 6, 2017). "Taylor Schilling, Pat Healy's Comedy 'Take Me' Bought by The Orchard". Variety. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
- "Take Me (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- "Take Me". Metacritic. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- O'Malley, Sheila. "Take Me Movie Review & Film Summary (2017) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2017-05-12.
- "Tribeca Film Review: 'Take Me'". Variety. April 28, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- DeFore, John (May 5, 2017). "'Take Me' Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
- Genzlinger, Neil (May 3, 2017). "Review: In 'Take Me,' a Kidnapping Turns Cat-and-Mouse". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2017.