By Brent Ramirez
Blog Content Contributor
If you like packaged meat sticks, anti jokes and Paul Rudd, then this is definitely the movie for you.
“The Fundamentals of Caring” is a Netflix original film that follows the story of former writer Ben Benjamin as he becomes the caretaker of a disabled teenager named Trevor. When the two embark on a road trip to “The World’s Deepest Pit”, they form an unlikely bond that neither of them ever saw coming, full of constant bickering and some rather dark and dirty jokes.
Essentially, the film is the story of two not-so-different people who don’t care for the other at first, but who ultimately become important people in each other’s lives. It’s a road trip film that really takes the scale of the road trip genre and focuses in on the relationship between Ben and Trevor, who go together just as well as peanut butter and bananas.
The film is a take on the indie dramedy style that many films like 2007’s “Juno”, 2012’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and many more have almost made formulaic. While it rides the stylistic rhythms of the films mentioned above, director Rob Burnett and his cast still manage to give the film its own unique personality.
“The Fundamentals of Caring” stars Paul Rudd as Ben, a retired writer turned caretaker suffering from personal tragedy. Following the massive success of his Marvel film, “Ant-Man”, Rudd does just as great in this film. He manages to display both his comedy and drama chops in the film and truly gives the depth and character essential to Ben. Co-starring alongside him is actor Craig Roberts (“22 Jump Street” and “Neighbors”) as wheelchair-bound Trevor. As the younger counterpart to Rudd’s Ben, Roberts not only manages to match up to Rudd’s acting, but puts on a performance that’s arguably just as good, if not better.
While the film includes names such as Selena Gomez, Jennifer Ehle and Bobby Cannavale, the film really rides on the performances of Rudd and Roberts. Their characters play off of each other in the film, calling each other out on their flaws and decisions, making for heart-breaking dialogue that still manages to retain the dark humor they both present. Their back-and-forth dialogue and comedy come off dry, but in the best way possible. It’s typical Rudd humor combined with that “something special” that Roberts brings to the mix, and it’s their chemistry that truly becomes the heart of the film.
While the plot can be slightly predictable at times, “The Fundamentals of Caring” is a great film and an easy watch if you’re into the genre. I highly recommend streaming it with a couple of Slim Jims ready to eat and some friends to laugh and maybe even cry with.
I give “The Fundamentals of Caring”…
4.1 out of 5 Slim Jims!