The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

fundamentals of caring poster netflix
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Nice relationship between two main characters, looks good

Tries a bit too hard to be quirky fun

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Fundamentals of Caring

Studio:  Worldwide Pants

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  January 29, 2016 (Sundance Film Festival)/June 24, 2016 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Who’s ready for a quirky roadtrip movie?

Ben (Paul Rudd) has suffered a huge loss.  Enrolling at a caregiving program, he’s got a new job to watch over a Trevor (Craig Roberts) who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.  When Ben decides to make Trevor leave his home by taking him on a tour of roadside attractions, Trevor’s great adventure begins.  Picking up a hitchhiker named Dot (Selena Gomez) and a pregnant woman named Peaches (Megan Ferguson), Ben and Trevor learn that the trip might not just be about Trevor.

Written and directed by Rob Burnett, The Fundamentals of Caring adapts The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison published in 2012.  The film premiered at Sundance and was released on Netflix on June 24, 2016 to mostly positive reviews.

You never know what you’re going to get from a Netflix original movie.  It could be good or it could be something that wasn’t good enough for theaters.  The Fundamentals of Caring feels like a little of both.


Snap into a Slim Jim…Oh Yeah!!!

The movie is a quirky drama…very quirky.  It sometimes feels that it tries a bit too hard at being quirky and loses some of the emotion.  The relationship between the two characters is good, but the path of the relationship becomes rather predictable through the course of the movie as everyone’s pain surfaces and essentially is solved.  The movie goes where you expect it to go with little surprises despite the red-herring attempts to switch up the plot through potential emergencies.

Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts work well together as the sparring leads.  Rudd has largely become a comedic actor over the years, but he does have a real feel to him that allows him to work in this more dramatic role.  Craig Roberts has develop from a child actor and is also believable as the challenging Trevor.  Selena Gomez is no great actor, but she also doesn’t have many scenes that she has to do much.


Didn’t see this coming…(sarcasm)

The movie looks quite good.  If road trip pictures are done right, they look good.  The movie doesn’t have to travel much but it has to look big.  The style of shooting of this picture works with the script and the actors and gives the appearance of a real road trip (though the path of their trip seems a bit all over the place for a week).

The Fundamentals of Caring is a nice picture that feels like it could have used an extra push to be a really good picture.  The movie has the trap of feeling a bit like a Wes Anderson picture but without being able to be a Wes Anderson picture because Anderson’s style is so defined.  It is worth seeing, but the picture’s story goes right where you expect…and tries to tug at the heart along the way.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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