The Fundamentals of Caring

I am having trouble sorting out my feelings for this movie: on the one hand, it’s plump with clichés like an overcooked wiener in a bun of unsubtlety. But that’s no ordinary mustard on this hot dog; it’s the fancy hand-pumped kind I got “on tap” from Maille in Paris, a beautiful mustard with Chablis and black truffles.

Okay, I took that metaphor too far. My point is (and I do have one): this movie the-fundamentals-of-caringhits a LOT of “road trip” clichés coupled with a lot of “my disabled buddy” clichés. And it has Selena Gomez. But it’s still offbeat and oddly charming and yes, this wiener won me over.

Ben (Paul Rudd) is a downtrodden man completing his training in caregiving, where the motto is, “Care, but not too much.” And that’s his plan. This is just a job. But he winds up working for an 18 year old young man named Trevor (Craig Roberts) with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. A progressive loss of muscle function means that Trevor’s in a wheel chair with limited use of his arms. The disease has NOT touched Trevor’s razor wit, his mean sense of humour, or his nasty predilection for pranks. This isn’t going to be an easy babysitting job after all – especially when the two hit the open road with a specially-equipped van full of drugs and life-sustaining equipment. Oh the fun they’ll have literally risking Trevor’s life to see some lousy American road side attractions.

Paul Rudd is the fancy mustard. I adore him. 60% of the time, I love him every time. I mean, let’s be serious for a moment. Is therefundamentalsofcaring-roberts-rudd-bovine-770x470 a single person on the planet who doesn’t love him? He might just be the most universally beloved actor that America has ever or will ever produce. He’s adorable. He’s still playing adorable and he’s middle aged!

Writer-director Rob Burnett manages to find a few new nuggets among the usual disability tropes. He’s not afraid of dark humour, but this movie still manages to be fairly lightweight. And I have to give him mad props for finding a way to use a Leonard Cohen song. I could hardly believe my little ears; they turned pink in utter delight.

This is the perfect little movie to accompany a glass of sangria at the end of a summer night – easy watching for easy sipping. Hot dogs are never easy eating for me but I rate this movie 4 gourmet all-beef wieners out of 5. It’s on Netflix right now.

21 thoughts on “The Fundamentals of Caring

  1. Tom

    “plump with clichés like an overcooked wiener in a bun of unsubtlety.” Well that might be my favorite metaphor ever. And I do like my metaphors. I look forward to watching this fuckin hot dog


  2. Sean

    I hope Paul Rudd understands how much praise got heaped on him through the comparison to theat wonderful black truffle mustard! It is hands down the best I’ve ever tried.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jay Post author

      Actually, I think it’s a good thing – I always like when a movie moves beyond the disability and becomes just a movie about people who, yes, might have fun!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. J.

    Hurrah! for Paul Rudd! I dare say I would have skipped past this one if I spotted it and Rudd wasn’t in it … but, y’know, Paul Rudd. I’ll have a gander and see if it’s reached the UK.


  4. reocochran

    I have loved ❤ Paul Rudd for years, while one daughter loves George Clooney and another one loves Liam Neeson. Funny, they chose older, I choose a younger guy. 🙂 I actually liked Bill Harder in "Trainwreck!" 😀


      1. Crankyfaced

        Once upon a time I was in love with Netflix. Now I am an On Demand kinda girl. The Fundamentals of Caring kept coming up in my suggestions on Netflix and finally one day I succumbed to Netflix-pressure. I was not too disappointed in this case 🙂 But Selena Gomez?



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