With all of the hype surrounding productions like Dear White People, Beyond, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and many more that are anticipated to premier and continue in the upcoming year, it can be easy to overlook some of the smaller gems that have been available to the public for some time.
Reissued on Netflix this year, The Fundamentals of Caring is an almost cookie-cutter story about a disabled boy and his caretaker going on a road trip, learning life lessons along the way. However, the casting choices and delivery of an otherwise generic and common script make the film genuine and heartfelt.
Starring Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, and Selena Gomez, the film centers around Rudd’s Ben caring for Roberts’s Trevor, who is afflicted with Duchenne
muscular dystrophy, restricting him to a wheelchair. Trevor’s dark humor coupled with Ben’s spontaneity and adaptability make for an enjoyable and funny ride through the pair’s journey through the states.
The film was an overall enjoyable and heartfelt experience, filled with dark humor, Slim Jim worship, and a humorous pairing of Trevor and Gomez’s Dot as the small company makes their way to visit as many landmarks as possible on their road trip. However, many of the best moments in the film occur when Trevor and Ben argue about their situation and each other. Their arguments, though dramatic, are highly entertaining and thought-provoking about what it means to judge someone too quickly and how passing judgement can affect another person.
I believe that The Fundamentals of Caring truly gets better every time you watch it. As many critics have put it, it is a “heartfelt dramedy with a little soul” that is enhanced by the cast members and their performances. I truly enjoyed the dark comedic relief throughout the movie, which does not let up until the very last second, as well as a few inside jokes that last the entire film as well. Overall, I would give the film a 9/10 stars for a new take on the cliché road-trip-to-find-meaning-in-life story.