Review: The Fundamentals of Caring (Film)”The Fundamentals of Caring” is an American comedy-drama written and directed by Rob Burnett and based on the novel “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving” by Jonathan Evison.The story follows the life of the discouraged, retired author Ben (Paul Rudd) who is still, three years later, unable to come to terms with the tragic death of his son. He is in need of a new job and decides to become a caregiver. After a six-week course, a British woman named Elsa (Jennifer Ehle) hires him for her teenaged son Trevor (Craig Roberts) who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Trevor is a sarcastic personality with a rather mocking view of his illness.
He keeps an unbroken routine; which Ben is hoping to break him out of. He convinces the initially reluctant Elsa that he and Trevor should go on a road trip to see some of the road side attractions of the United States. On their journey they pick up the tough 21-year-old Dot (Selena Gomez), on whom Trevor immediately develops a crush on, and a kind, heavily pregnant woman named Peaches (Megan Ferguson). Ben and Trevor learn about life from their experiences on the road and Ben learns to accept the death of his child and moves on.The film manages to talk about serious topics, such as depression and disability, in a deliberate way, while retaining the aspects of a comedy. With his sardonic humour, Trevor is a completely different, but refreshing portrayal of the disabled in the cinematic scene. He keeps the story from being too gloomy and downbeat and shows that handicapped or not, everybody has a sense of humour.
The character of Ben, although a little aggravating in the beginning, brings depth to the story and is a fantastic match to the dry humoured Trevor. Together they make for a unique buddy road trip movie. As the story goes on, it shows that the characters are not, as previously expected, set to be hyper-aware or too cunning, a common misdeed in indie-movies, but rather using their sarcasm and dark humoured jokes as a defence mechanism during challenging times.