The Fundamentals of Caring

Rated: TV-MA

        Paul Rudd has long been one of my favorite actors. From his first big movie role in Clueless in 1995, to Romeo + Juliette, to Anchorman, to Prince Avalanche, to The Little Prince, and on and on and on…there really isn’t a film he’s been in that I thought wasn’t made better by his performance.  No matter the type of role, from serious, to comedic, to super hero, Paul Rudd brings a livelihood to every role that other actors just can’t match. He’s also the type of actor I imagine being pretty much the same in real life as he is onscreen, which is to say he seems like a nice guy.
 
        Given all of that, when I was perusing the latest offerings on Netflix and stumbled across
The Fundamentals of Caring I paused to read the description. Keep in mind that I would’ve watched it regardless because Paul Rudd is in it, but I at least wanted a sense of what I was getting in to. The film tells the story of Ben, an in-home care giver going through a streak of bad luck. When he gets a job taking care of 18 year old muscular dystrophy patient Trevor it’s not clear the two can work together; but when Ben suggests a road trip everything changes, including both Trevor and Ben’s outlooks on life.
  Now I know, this is the type of sickly sweet, heartwarming type of film I usually don’t bother to sit through, but once in a while I subject myself to them anyways. Sometimes watching a film like this is like curling up in a warm blanket with a mug of hot chocolate on a snowy day: it’s just too inviting to avoid.
 
        Actor Craig Roberts isn’t yet a household name, but after his performance in this film it’s obvious that he should be. He plays Trevor, the boy with muscular dystrophy Paul Rudd is hired to care for. While Roberts doesn’t have the disease in real life, his performance as someone afflicted was phenomenal.
 
        Matthew Whitehouse of i-d.vice.com interviewed Roberts on how he pulled off such a realistic performance despite not actually having the affliction. He said, “Rob [Burnett] the director was really, really on it and gave me as much to read as possible. He set up an interview with a kid called Sam and I went to see his daily routine of how he operates. I just wanted to get comfortable with being in a wheelchair and it not look like I was acting like I was in a wheelchair. I wanted to be comfortable with maneuvering around the house I was in and stuff like that. But each case with Duchenne muscular dystrophy is different, so we kind of decided on a point where he would be during it and went with that,” he said. In fact, Roberts’ performance was so realistic that Karen Willson of TheMighty.com, a blog for those with disabilities, wrote about how the film mirrored her own struggles. You can read the article here.
 
        
The Fundamentals of Caring is a film that gets things right in so many ways. Its realistic portrayal of the struggles both people with disabilities and their caregivers is one that needs to be seen and understood by more people. It’s also a reminder of why Paul Rudd is so great and a showcase for the talents of Craig Roberts. So if you have Netflix definitely give this heartwarming and funny little film a chance!

       The Fundamentals of Caring was written and directed by Rob Burnette and stars Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts and Selena Gomez. It’s available now on Netflix. More information about the film can be found here:

  • The Fundamentals of Caring on IMDB
  • The Fundamentals of Caring Trailer
  • The Fundamentals of Caring on Netflix