Todd Braley’s You Like to Draw? centers two women looking for a bit of help in different ways. Ellen (Brii Frank) uses a wheelchair after a brain injury suffered in a car crash. After her mother puts out an ad for a caregiver through Craigslist, Neena (Mariah Ellen Griffith) takes the job without any prior experience. Ironically, Neena is a single parent who can barely care for her son, let alone herself, as she is often drunk or posting on social media. Can the two personalities co-exist? Can they find what they are looking for?
Ellen and Neena are complete opposites. Ellen needs assistance with things people generally take for granted, such as going to the bathroom, getting dressed, and going places at any moment. At the same time, Neena takes selfies every chance she gets and avoids all responsibilities. On paper and logically, Neena is probably the worst person you can have to be a caregiver for a loved one, but that’s what Ellen’s mother decides to do anyway.
After getting fired on her first day, Neena has made an impression on Ellen enough to beg her mother to hire her back as she feels Neena is good for her. The two begin to form a bond that pushes them to become a better version of themselves.
“…probably the worst person you can have to be a caregiver for a loved one…”
When you make a picture about disabled persons, you walk a fine line regarding how it will come off. You Like to Draw? does a decent job of not being a comical take on a disabled ability. Now, I’m not sure if Brii Frank happens to actually be disabled in real life or not, and I know that in this age of cinema, it is often frowned upon for a person without a disability to play the role of a disabled person. Still, I think the actor did an exceptional job in her role.
On the subject of roles and acting, I feel that the performances were fair throughout, but Trista Robinson as Anne and Rose Bonino as Laurie stand out. The two characters are memorable as well. Anne is Ellen’s aunt, who is pretty out there, but it works comically. Laurie asks all the questions that probably the majority of the audience is asking while watching this film. It was wise to have a character such as Laurie simply because many questions would have gone unanswered without her.
Something lacking was the art, ironically enough. Ellen has a passion for art that she had lost over the years, but art is only briefly discussed during the first half. Art is mentioned much more during the last half, but it should have been mentioned evenly throughout the movie, especially when the title is You Like to Draw?. While it may not be a film for everyone because of its light tone, it has heart at its core. That is something every drama needs.
"…has heart at its core."