In a very hung over state and dealing with the aftermath of highs from finishing university forever, I decided to settle down and watch The Fundamentals of Caring. I’d vaguely heard of the film and the cast was of some interest, so I took a gamble and cosied up to watch. The film, starring Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, and Selena Gomez, is based off the book The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, which follows the story of a retired writer starting a new career in the care sector. After the film was produced, Netflix acquired the distribution rights. Smart move, as this is a really great film to have under their name, and I will share with you just why I loved it (without giving away too many spoilers).
The Fundamentals of Caring is a film wrapped in hope. The story follows Ben and his first job as a carer where he is tasked with looking after Trevor, a teen with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The sad and anxious undertones that riddle the lives of the characters is contrasted with an immediate humour, with sarcasm and dry humour used to a great affect. For me, this made the characters and situations more relatable, illustrating the ups and downs that are a real part of everyday life when dealing with disability, and other issues addressed throughout the film. As we learnt more about Ben through flashbacks and started to understand Trevor’s life, the film turned into a sort of road movie that stressed an importance on friendship. Each character was challenged, learning about themselves in the most unlikely of ways.
This is a very short film, with a running time of only 93 minutes. At first I was disappointed when I could feel the film wrapping up because I’d grown so attached to the characters and their stories. I wish some of the minor characters had a longer appearance, therefore allowing their own story to merge more with the main plot and add to the narrative as a whole. However, each individual plot was tied up as the character prepared to move on to the new chapter of their lives, leaving you with a feeling of hope for their future. The ending perfectly fitted the humorous style of the film, as well as reiterating the message. There was nothing about this story that wasn’t uplifting, and I don’t normally go for the cutesy, elevating films, but I’d watch The Fundamentals of Caring again and again.
Dealing with issues in a raw and truthful way, this film is seriously worth a watch and deserves so much more attention. I thought it was the perfect combination between sad and hopeful, portraying the good and bad in the lives of several lost people. The clear message of hope made me feel all warm and fluffy inside. This may be my shortest review to date, but I think it neatly sums up my feelings towards this film. Whilst it left me wanting more, I was also happy to imagine the future of each character for myself. Whether you watch this out of curiosity, to cheer you up when you’re down, nurse your hangover, or because you really love Paul Rudd (let’s face it, we all do), The Fundamentals of Caring is a feel-good film that will have you beaming from ear to ear.