Based on the 2012 novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, The Fundamentals of Caring is a charming Netflix original movie. I had the pleasure of watching it this past weekend, and despite my reservations when it comes to movies (I prefer TV), I quickly fell in love with the unique movie.
The movie centers around Ben (Paul Rudd), a former writer who, after enduring tremendous personal tragedies, decides to enroll in a caregiving course. After completing the class, Ben meets his first client: Trevor (Craig Roberts), an amusingly ornery teenager who suffers from muscular dystrophy, a disorder that prohibits from walking and doing other physical activities. Trevor lives his life parked in front of the TV, with only a weekly visit to the park to interrupt his otherwise in-home routine. In search of unconventional landmarks around the country, the duo decides to embark on a road trip together. Along the way, they find unlikely friendships in a snarky runaway teen (Selena Gomez) and a sweet mother-to-be (Megan Ferguson).
The plot as a whole was quite simple, but the characters were very well developed and I formed connections with them immediately. There were very few cliches throughout the movie, unlike most “inspirational” movies. In fact, the raw quality of the film was what immediately drew me in. From the beginning, the movie dealt with real issues; however, there was never an absence of comedy or reality. The dry, dark humor that accompanied the poignant dialogue definitely added to the movie deeply. Besides that, there was great chemistry between the characters/cast, especially with Trevor and Ben. Rudd and Roberts did a phenomenal job of capturing the dysfunctional, but loving, relationship between the pair that was so essential to both their characters’ personal journeys and the movie as a whole.
Overall, I was deeply pleased with this movie. It was heartwarming and comical, while still dealing with raw, real-life issues. For anyone looking for a movie to watch that will provide some laughs and a dose of reality, I would certainly recommend The Fundamentals of Caring.