In this Netflix original film, The Fundamentals of Caring, (based upon Jonathan Evison’s novel,“The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving,) takes us on a road trip with a sullen teenager, Trevor (the disingenous Craig Roberts), confined to a wheelchair with muscular dystrophy. His loving and overprotective mother– divorced and struggling with career and parental responsibilities—sequesters her son at home where he watches soap operas all day, bored out of his mind.
Along comes a writer wannabe (Paul Rudd), Ben, who is a freshly minted caregiver, desperately looking for a change in his life after suffering a horrific personal tragedy. Trevor’s mother reluctantly hires him after her son shows a fondness for his style, even though Ben lacks any experience or references.
Both Trevor and Ben share a fear of moving on with their lives and seeing their place in the world. The two embark on a bizarre road trip seeing sites like the world’s deepest pit, something the viewer can only imagine in a snow globe or other kitschy tourist souvenir.
Along the way they meet a young abandoned girl, Dot, trying to get to Denver ( a strong performance by Selena Gomez) and a pregnant woman trying to get home before her baby arrives (excellent Megan Ferguson). The road trip clinches the change in both of them.
The Fundamentals of Caring is a well-crafted, well-acted comedy-drama without predictability or cliche and remains, at its core, a heartwarming story to watch, a solid choice for family viewing.