The Fundamentals of Caring – Review

Genre Comedy, Drama
Directed by Rob Burnett
Starring Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez
Released on January 29, 2016(Sundance Film Festival), June 24, 2016 (Worldwide)
Duration 93 minutes
Flixxpanda Rating 8/10
Channel Netflix

Are you read to cry? Then yes, watch The Fundamentals of Caring.

I know that I’m a sucker for clichés and the melodrama in the film is very cliched but I just loved it so much. Its an incredibly sweet film that plays on your heartstrings and leaves you with this warm fuzzy feeling inside.

The Fundamentals of Caring isn’t anything close to realistic but feels grounded by Paul Rudd, Hollywood’s stereotypical nice guy. Paul Rudd plays Ben, a retired writer whose estranged wife has been asking him to sign the divorce papers. Ben hasn’t complied yet, saying he just isn’t ready yet.

After the loss of his son, Ben takes a course in care-giving where they emphasize they mantra – ALOHA. It stands for Ask, Listen, Observe, Help, Ask Again. Well, the movie exists to prove that wrong. Through the course of the film we are made to believe care-giving is so much more than what can be taught in a course.

Ben gets a job fairly quickly, his first client being a young teen names Trevor (Craig Roberts) who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Well it’s a film, so he doesn’t show any outward signs of discomfort but yes, he is confined to a wheelchair. His mother however is very overprotective and nags him and Ben on multiple occasions. She’s just a concerned mum though so it’s okay.

Trevor is adorable and revels in dark humor. The film has a lot of jokes that would definitely not be suited for a younger audience, but if you’re over fifteen-ish, chances are you’ll find it hilarious. Some of the best include how Trevor wants Katy Perry to sing “Firework” when she ‘does’ him or how he pretends to gag and fake his own death.

When Ben finds out Trevor’s habit of mapping out the most lame tourist sites in the states, he decides to take him out on a road trip to see all of said sad sites. Here’s where the beautiful cinematography with cliché music comes in. But I forgive them because Rudd and Roberts portray a great father-son dynamic and carry the movie flawlessly, stopping it from turning into completely dramatic mush.

The pick up a random girl, Dot (Selena Gomez) on the way. Dot is airy but bad-ass and I liked her but her role isn’t really of much importance in the grand scheme of things.

The Fundamentals of Caring is a classic take on the genre where characters start from a place of grief and evolve into happier versions of themselves. But it was genuine enough to keep me watching. Ben comes to terms with the loss of his son and eventually quits as Trevor’s caregiver but the two remain friends. He goes back to writing and pens a novel about Trevor who continues to fake his death to his next caregivers. It’s a good ending overall, even made me tear up a bit.

Credit – Netflix | YouTube 

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