"The Fundamentals of Caring" (2016)

Rating: NR
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Rob Burnett
Written By: Rob Burnett
On Disc/Streaming: Jun 24, 2016
Runtime: 93 minutes
Studio: Netflix

A writer named Ben (Paul Rudd) retires after a personal tragedy and becomes disabled teen, Trevor’s (Craig Roberts) caregiver. When the two embark on an impromptu road trip, their ability to cope is tested as they start to understand the importance of hope and friendship. Selena Gomez also co-stars as the self-assured hitchhiker, Dot.

Well…If you’re ever racking your brains in search of something to watch on Netflix any time, may I recommend this smashing Netflix original. I admit I started watching it on a whim. I read the description and thought…’Sure I’ll give it a go and see what happens’ – What happened was, I fell in love with a movie I wasn’t expecting to with at all.

The characters are all wonderfully unique and all possess a charming sense of humour. Trevor has Muscular Dystrophy, in the beginning of the movie living a very mundane life built around structure and routine. He is mainly confined to the house, only going to the nearby park once a week, while spending the rest of his time in front of the TV. He seemed to day dream about going to various different places he’d marked out on a map but didn’t ever expect or anticipate going to any of them. He is very witty and has much of the better dialogue in the film. He is incredibly endearing, an easily lovable character from the word go. 


Ben is very lovable too. He has entered the world of Care Giving for the first time with Trevor while in the midst of a begrudging divorce after the passing of his son. He and Trevor begin to bond, over some time forming a very workable relationship. They enjoy poking holes at each other, however in time Ben decides enough is enough. Trevor is wasting his life when he should be out there with everybody else. With much convincing, both to his mother, and to himself, Trevor sets out on a road trip with Ben for the adventure of his life.

I love their relationship throughout the film, they develop a really wonderful friendship. I love their banter and pokes at one another. Both characters grow so much throughout the film, it’s wonderful and entertaining to watch. In many ways they both needed each other. It’s like when you hear about meeting people at a time of your life when you needed them most – well this was the case here.
Selena Gomez was a member of the cast I was not expecting to be so on the ball. She really owned her character and was really quite brilliant in the role. I also loved hers and Trevor’s relationship, I thought it was extremely sweet. 

On their journey we also encounter the idealistic and pregnant Peaches (Megan Furgason) stranded on the side of the road with a broken car, on her way to stay with her mother before baby comes. Bend offers her a ride. She's quite charming really.

On their way across the country, one of the goals was also for Trevor to confront his father, who had abandoned Trevor and his mother when Trevor was three years old following his diagnosis. We had learned he was sending Trevor letters that he refused to open. Ben decided it would be a good idea for Trevor to try and rebuild the bridge between them. Trevor didn't, but went along with the idea anyway. The scene when they meet is quite heartbreaking. I wasn't expecting the outcome to be honest. It came as quite a shock to me.  

I laughed, I smiled, I left this movie feeling warm and zestful for life. A really warm coming of age film that’s without question worth a watch. Bravo Netflix. 

Final Rating: 3/5 Stars