Monday, December 11, 2017

Movie Monday: The Fundamentals of Caring

While my husband was away recently, I selected a Netflix original movie I've been wanting to see, The Fundamentals of Caring. We always joke about watching movies the other wouldn't like when he's away, so I told him this one was about a teen boy in a wheelchair who might die young, and he was happy to miss it! But it turned out to be a very funny, moving story of friendship and hope.

Paul Rudd stars as Ben, a newly trained professional caregiver who went into the field to try to deal with a devastating divorce and loss. Ben gets a job caring for 18-year old Trevor, played by Craig Roberts (he plays David on Red Oaks, a show I enjoyed), who has muscular dystrophy and a LOT of sarcasm. Trevor's mom warns Ben not to get too close to her son because his dad left when he was young, and he was devastated by the loss. But Ben decides to upend Trevor's closely monitored routine and take him on the road trip of his dreams, to see all the strange roadside attractions he's always wanted to see. Despite his mom's misgivings, Trevor and Ben set off in the handicapped van for an eventful cross-country trip. Trevor experiences a lot of firsts on the trip but never loses his sarcastic edge, and along the way, they pick up a cute hitchhiker his age named Dot, played by Selena Gomez, who is dealing with her own  issues.

I really enjoyed this movie. Despite the heavy topics here - severe disability, loss, death, and more - it is filled with a dark humor that often left me laughing out loud. The actors are all excellent, and it's wonderful to see Trevor's life opening up a bit, even though the new experiences are sometimes terrifying to him. Ben helps him to realize his dreams, but along the way - as you might expect - Trevor helps Ben just as much. It's a moving, funny, uplifting film...and it's based on an amazing road trip (one of my favorite things, in real life and in movies).

The Fundamentals of Caring is a Netflix original movie, so it is only available on Netflix.

Oh, and I REALLY liked the movie's theme song, This Is the Only Time We Have by Ryan Miller:

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