The Fundamentals of Caring


In this inspirational buddy comedy, a young shut-in and his caregiver take a road trip in search of landmarks, but end up finding hope and friendship.

Year: 2016
Certificate: G
Director: Rob Burnett
Starring: Paul Rudd, Jennifer Ehle, Fred Weller, Selena Gomez, Craig Roberts, Megan Ferguson, Bobby Cannavale

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Trevor has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), is confined to wheelchair and won’t leave his house. Ben is a failed author whose marriage broke down a couple of years ago. As the two protagonists of this film, you would assume that it would be a fairly depressing drama of sorts. But, as we all know “assumptions are the brother of all f**k ups”. “The Fundamentals of Caring” is actually a very funny buddy comedy, albeit one that is wrapped around some very serious topics.

Ben, while trying to get his life back in shape and earn a living, embarks on a 6-week crash course in the fundamentals of caring. Once he passes, he applies to be a carer and his first job is caring for Trevor. While he may need someone to take him to the toilet and provide general day-to-day care, he is also gifted with a very dry, sharp and witty sense of humour. As a Brit, he also enjoys mocking the numerous lame road-side attractions dotted around America – the biggest bovine, the two-storey toilet and the world’s deepest pit.

Trevor’s mum seems, at times, somewhat over-protective and you start to wonder if she is the reason for him being housebound. It doesn’t take long for Ben and Trevor to click and once they do, it’s not long until Ben decides it’s time for Trevor to get out and actually visit some of the roadside attractions.

The on-screen relationship between Ben and Trevor is impeccably done and feels very natural – this really does help with a lot of the comedy elements in the film. The humour is crude at times, which makes it even more amusing when you consider the relationship is between an adult carer and a teenaged kid – don’t get me wrong though, it is comedy and not perversion.

As a sideline to the story, the pair pick up a couple of hitchhikers and Trevor decides to seek out his Dad, who left when he was diagnosed with DMD. As well as the comedy, the cast also play the deep emotional storyline superbly. It is laugh-out-loud at times yet serious when it needs to be. It’s a fun film and I highly recommend watching it.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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