The Fundamentals of Caring Review – Surprising Dramatic Comedy Charms

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The Fundamentals of Caring, a Netflix Original Film, presents the unfairness and difficulties of life with a child diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and how one person and possibility can create hope and dare to dream.

Directed by Rob Burnett, The Fundamentals of Caring stars Paul Rudd, Selena Gomez, Craig Roberts, Jennifer Ehle, Megan Ferguson, Frederick Weller and Julia Denton.

The film opens as Ben Benjamin, played by Paul Rudd, entering caregiving class for some yet to be revealed reason he has checked out of life. Hoping to feel again, he becomes a caregiver to focus less on his personal wounds and despair and more on someone else’s need.

Truly he is still struggling, his wife, Janet, played by Julia Denton, is trying to have him sign the divorce papers. It’s during this meeting that we find out that it has been two years. His soon to be ex-wife seems to have gotten on with life and he, weighed down with an unknown burden, can’t. He tosses the envelope on the table and explains “I can’t.”

To him the divorce issues has been settled. He can’t yet and won’t. To Janet, she has made up her mind and continues. She slips the envelope under the door and finally has a process server attempt to serve the papers.

Ben is a part time unemployed writer and with everything that has stilled in his life as he lives, moves and breathes he is essentially the walking dead. His emotions, and his pen are silenced.

Today, he is off to secure his first caregiving assignment. Opening the door, we meet Elsa Conklin, played by Jennifer Ehle, the mother of Trevor, whom we don’t meet for a scene or two as his mother describes his situation and life.

Ravaged by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Trevor, played by Craig Roberts, has limited physical abilities he does however have quite a strong sense of humor when you can find it as it is hidden under this massive chip on his shoulder. So when he does show up, he, confined to an electric wheel chair, announces himself by playing mentally challenged and unable to speak.

After that he calms somewhat and we find his biting sarcasm is his lead. So between the two, as Ben is wounded and while as a caregiver he is precise, when Trevor is in one of his moods, he bites back. The two are a perfect couple, verbally sparring with each other with stabbing sarcasm, digs, and bitter words.

As Trevor, for the umpteenth time talks about the totally irreverent tourist attractions that have fascinated him from the largest Bovine to the largest natural hole in the world as he puts place markers on the map for each one.

Suddenly, as Ben is at his wits end with the day in, day out routine of sameness he suggests a road trip to visit these close and trivial sights.

With Elsa panicking, they finally all for five minutes agree it is a good thing and before any of three could change their minds they are on the road. Suddenly the world isn’t as scary as it was.

Stopping for gas and road trip food supplies, a clearly smitten Trevor sees a hitchhiker, to him a goddess, and honestly the first female outside of the television he has seen in some time. A raven haired beauty, who commented on his very cool sneakers. To which he replies, “Mall.”

So the single word answer became the fodder for the next 100 or so miles as the banter between the two becomes less jagged. Suddenly at another pit stop, they see her again.  Soon Dot, played by Selena Gomez, has joined the two as both are chivalrous and feel the road is no place for a hitchhiking female.

I enjoyed The Fundamentals of Caring. It is a charming dramady. There were bits of it, however, that I found unsettling.

Craig Roberts, who gives an unbelievably realistic performance, and was stunning in his portrayal shocked with his initial entrance in the film. That scene, as it was meant to disarm did and felt like mockery of those who do suffer from such deep mental challenges.

Selena Gomez, whom I have only seen in one other film, is a beauty. Her character Dot, is almost an archetype of the adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Her character, chain smoking, hitchhiking, expletives using tough girl truly masks the gentle, caring soul that meets this man who will never get better and sees the person and not the difficulties.

Paul Rudd, whom we know so well from his work across the years, has matured as a talent. We see someone who handles the material, which doesn’t shy away from the realities of life caring for someone with DMD and handles with skillfully.

All the characters have their arch, Trevor and Ben mellow and change, one getting his voice back and the other adjusting his and Dot who isn’t so tough after all and freely gives happiness.

The Fundamentals of Caring is charming, magnetic, film, with smartly written characters that truly shine. It is available on Netflix streaming platform. See it.

Images used with permission.

Haute Tease

  • CAFÉ De FLORE Presents a Mystifying Journey of Unquenchable, Everlasting, Eternal Love

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    CAFÉ De FLORE, from Adopt films and Director Jean-Marc Vallee, brings to the screen an exquisite journey of self discovery, intrigue, unquenchable love and the intertwining of destinies.

     
  • The Predator Review - A Wild Sci-Fi Thrill Ride of Epic Proportions

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Predator, from Twentieth Century Fox and TSG Entertainment, brings to the screen a savant child, a unit of unfit veterans, a secret government agency, and an heroic battle as aliens arrive to harvest DNA from the most advanced warriors.

     
  • The Trip to Italy Review - A Five Star Michelin Rated Experience

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "The Trip to Italy," from IFC Films, BBC Films and Revolution Films, brings to the screen the perfect summer vacation adventure for those of us who can't indulge in an all expenses five star paid vacation through Italy.

     
  • The Last Word Review – Solid, Performance Driven, Entertainment

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Last Word, from Bleecker Street Media, presents a classic timeless story of finding the missing pieces that, through discordant beginnings, are fine tuned into melodies, that somehow find the right blends, the harmonies, that becomes treasured memories. 

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Reverses Cuba; HealthCare On Floor; Brits Bowed; Grenfell Towers; Simon Cowell

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence continued to realign the United States position taking on two policies the former administration worked to secure for the American people: Healthcare and Cuban travel restriction.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama/Orlando/Filibuster; Belgium-Paris Terror; Stanford Rape Judge; Okinawa; Bob Iger

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama and Vice President Biden joined families in Orlando, one week after the Pulse massacre, the worst shooting on U.S. soil, to offer condolences, encouragement and solidarity in the fight for renewed gun control measures and to end hatred.

     
  • Celebrity Real Estate: Chicago Mansion Serving As Lucious Lyon’s Residence on Smash Hit "Empire" On Market

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Audiences around the globe tune in regularly to keep up with the drama gripping music mogul, Lucious Lyon, and former wife Cookie, sons, and to close the must see third season, guest star Demi Moore.

     
  • Framing John DeLorean Review – Strap In For A Turbo Charged Must See

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Framing John DeLorean, from Sundance Selects and 9.14 Pictures, brings to the screen the story John DeLorean, the renegade automaker, and maker of probably one of the most recognized sports cars in the world and an FBI sting.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Gives PT Speech, Media Outrage; San Bernardino; 2016 Race; Scott Weiland OD

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama presented a rare prime-time speech to address the nation on the San Bernardino Terrorist attack that killed 14 in an ISIS style mass shooting and the plan that he and coalition members have to address this new wave of terrorist attacks.

     
  • Sal Review – Sorry Sal, This Will Make You Roll Over In Your Grave

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Sal,” from RabbitBandini Productions in association with Made in Film-Land, chronicles the last day in the life of murdered Academy Award nominee and former teen matinee idol Sal Mineo, who died a victim of random violence.

     
  • 2014 Program Promises Enchanted Evenings of Magical Music at Southern California’s Premiere Outdoor Venue Santa Anita Race Track

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    April 4, 2014, Arcadia – There is a buzz that begins around this time of year; a buzz that grows steadily, accompanying the anticipation of another unforgettable summer season of concerts by Maestro Victor Vener and his California Philharmonic.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama and The Panama Papers Fall Out; Election 2016; Journos Murdered; Elon Musk; Zaha Hadid

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama began his post presidency employment search this week with a stopover at University of Chicago Law School where he taught an introductory course to which he was well received. His tenure is still under consideration.

     
  • Bienvenue Chez VousConcierge Auctions Announces Its First European Auction In Sexy Saint Tropez, France

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Leading luxury auction firm, Concierge Auctions, enters the European market in ultra sexy Saint Tropez, France,the 11th country in which the firm is now holding auctions, with the auction of Villa La Ponche, a prívate estate boasting French Riviera views.

     
  • Teen Spirit Review - Charming Cinderella Story Inspires

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Teen Spirit, from Bleecker Street Films and Interscope, brings to the screen the Cinderella story of every singing contestant hopeful who believe that one audition will lead to that golden ticket and a chance at destiny.

     
  • HL Las Vegas: Urban Turban Hires Chef Tarun Kapoor and Debuts New Menu

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Urban Turban has announced international-award winning Master Chef Tarun Kapoor, an award winning ingredient, as new executive chef at the dine-in restaurant on East Paradise and Urban Turban EXPRESS at The LINQ.