When I finished watching The Fundamentals of Caring that premiered on Netflix ages ago, I was thrilled because I was expecting a funny, witty, sarcastic and an upbeat movie… and luckily, that’s exactly what I got!
Even though the end of the year is still many months and many good movies away, I’m pretty sure The Fundamentals of Caring will end up in my list of favorites, and close to the top as well. The reason is simple, the movie is simple and it is carried by great performances, a well defined script and emotion! It isn’t too flashy and it isn’t too over the top, it just tells a story of two people, who are very different, who come together and change each others lives for the better. And it just happens that those two people are portrayed by the very talented Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts, which is just like icing on the cake – it makes the cake a whole lotta better!
The Fundamentals of Caring is essentially a road trip movie, and the challenges of the journey are connected to Trevor’s (Craig Roberts) condition – Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Now, this sounds as serious as it is, it basically affects every muscle in your body and causes premature death. So Trevor lives with the idea that he is going to die young, and has developed a coping mechanism – sarcasm and pranks. But when Ben (Paul Rudd) is hired to be his caretaker, and urges Trevor to be more adventures, great things start to happen.
One of the main reasons why this movie works is the chemistry between Trevor and Ben because Craig and Paul are equally as great together. Both have a knack for comedy, different kind of comedy, that magically works together. While the movie does achieve a place among the comedy genre, I think it doesn’t shy away from the seriousness of Trevor’s condition. Sure, it isn’t as gruesome as it could have been shown, but it does indicate strongly that Trevor could not handle life alone. What I do think though, is that The Fundamentals of Caring is trying to show that there is always room for humor, even while being permanently in a wheelchair. And since this story is inspired by true events, I would like to think that those events were filled with the same amount of humor.
For me, it’s been two months since I watched it (clearly I’m on track with my movie reviews!), and I still carry around this fond memory of The Fundamentals of Caring. The strength lies in the characters, and with such great actors portraying said characters, there’s nothing else to do but sit back and enjoy the experience. With so many comedies trying to achieve so much with so little time, and using outrageous plot lines to carry out ridiculous tropes, The Fundamentals of Caring stands out with its simplicity. Like I said, I think it’s the simple things that we remember and cherish, and with this movie, those simple things are celebrated. In the end, you’re just stuck with this feeling of happiness, and when a movie can create that feeling of joy, it’s a pretty good movie.