REVIEW: The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

Release Poster - Netflix

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a quick review of The Fundamentals of Caring, directed by Rob Burnett.

Based on the novel, The Revised Fundamentals of Caring, by Jonathan Evison, the Netflix original film, The Fundamentals of Caring follows Ben (played by Paul Rudd), a caregiver, who has been hired to take care of Trevor (played by Craig Roberts), who suffers from Duchennes muscular dystrophy.

Trevor is pretty rude to Ben, but after they get to know each other Ben, and Trevor’s mother (played by Jennifer Ehle), arrange for Trevor to go on a road trip with Ben to see some of the more odd sights on the American highway.

The Fundamentals of Caring is a charming little film that I really think most people will have a lot of fun with (in large part due to the performances of the main characters). Paul Rudd is, obviously, great here, and Craig Roberts is really good too. I would also add that Selena Gomez does a fine job as one of the hitchhikers Ben and Trevor pick up along the way.

But the film is not without some problems. The other hitchhiker, Peaches (played by Megan Ferguson), didn’t work for me, and the actor who plays Trevor’s dad (played by Frederick Weller) wasn’t right for the part, in my opinion – he was miscast. The dad was supposed to be this really successful car-salesman, or at least that’s how I understood it, and I was really disappointed with the scene that the dad appeared in.

This is a safe, by-the-numbers dramedy, but The Fundamentals of Caring is also easily the best Netflix original film since Beasts of No Nation. This is the direction Netflix should be going in: distributing these simple, but solid and charming, independently produced films. The Fundamentals of Caring on Netflix: a match made in heaven.

7.5 out of 10

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

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