FOR ONCE I DON’T THINK I SPOILED IT TOO MUCH OR MAYBE I’M JUST A LIAR ONLY TIME WILL TELL.
Film: The Fundamentals of Caring
Initial Release: January 29, 2016
Director: Rob Burnett
Screenplay: Rob Burnett
Based On: The Revised Fundamentals of Caring by Jonathan Evison
Music Composed By: Ryan Miller
Producers: Rob Burnett, Donna Gigliotti, James Spies
Starring: Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez
Available on Netflix
This movie, oh my god this movie. I don’t know where to even begin.
The Fundamentals of Caring has been sitting on my list since it came out in June but I kept making excuses to not watch it because 1. I don’t really care for Selena Gomez’s acting career (I’m sorry but I can only watch her play a badass slacker who’s t0o cool for school and doesn’t care about XYZ so many times) and 2. I have a bad habit of just not watching movies. When given the choice, I will pick a tv or series over a film. I’m just into shorter bursts of variety. It’s part of my commitment issues I guess? Can’t commit to people. Can’t commit to movies.
I’ll be honest, I only gave this film a chance this week because they changed the cover art from the actors to an image of two waffles and a breakfast link sausage in the formation of a dick. Who doesn’t love a phallic symbol?
The film centers around a retired writer, Ben (Paul Rudd, umph I know), who takes this 6-week course to become a caregiver. He ends up taking a job caring for Trevor, an 18-year-old boy with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Trevor, fucking Trevor. This character is gold, let me tell you. He’s the type of boy that I would marry. He’s cynical as all hell with the anxiety to match, very much a real and relatable character. He’s very much into playing pranks such as pretending to choke on things or staying deadpan when making outrageous requests or comments. And much like any character with disabilities, he has that desire to live life normally and do normal things, like fall in love and take a piss standing up, both of which play roles at various capacities in this movie.
Ben soon realizes that Trevor is obsessed with American roadside attractions (I mean, who
isn’t? I would die to see the world’s largest ball of twine) and that kicks into gear the whole plot of the movie. After much thought, planning, and second guessing, the two embark on a cross-country, “coming of age” adventure to see the world’s largest pit.
Along the way, we see various growth in the characters. Trevor goes from this cynical and sure person with a strict routine to this bumbling goof who’s more flexible. He gets out of his non-medical related routines and starts trying new things like Slim Jims and falling in love when a new character, Dot (Selena Gomez) is introduced. It’s kinda like when you see someone change how they act because they have a crush on someone. They become a softer version of themselves and you can’t help but gush a little for them because it’s just so friggin cute. That’s exactly what happens.
And, Dot is the stereotypical Selena Gomez character but for some reason, I’m not mad about it? I think she’s an okay love interest for a boy like Trevor in regards to this movie. Would I have liked them to try to stray from the typical “good boy falls for the bad girl” stereotype? Sure, I always want that. But the way they developed Dot’s character, she wasn’t much of a traditional bad girl. She was more or less, an equal to Trevor They shared a lot of the same cynicism and character traits, which I think makes the pairing work and makes me less mad at Selena Gomez.
As for Ben, we start to see him forgive himself for his son’s death and he comes to terms that getting a divorce from his wife through the deliverance and birth of Peaches’s (Megan Ferguson) baby at the big pit. He starts to connect more with the world around him. It seems as if he is finally finding some sort of comfort and normalcy in a world that’s drastically changing on him.
There are just so many things to talk about that I would never do it justice. You just need to watch it, honestly.
The writing is witty. The plot is excellent. The characters are wonderful. This is the first time I’ve watched a movie and am at loss for what to say about it. You just need to experience the film for yourself. 10/10 definitely would recommend. In fact, I would sit you down and make you watch it because it is exactly what you deserve, trust me.