The Fundamentals of Caring: A Movie Review

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Annette Brown/Netflix

Fundamentals Of Caring

Michelle Mirza, Editorials/Two Cents & That's Rad Editor

“The fundamentals of caregiving are to give care…but not care too much.”

As the Netflix original movie begins, this is one of the first things recited by an instructor of a basic six-week class on medical caregiving for beginners. Oh, how this rule is gradually broken as each scene passes by on the screen.

We follow a middle-aged man (Paul Rudd) who takes up his first caregiver job, assisting a wittingly pessimistic teenager with muscular dystrophy (Craig Roberts). Their relationship somehow blossoms through days of Rudd balancing the mundane tasks of assisting someone with a paralyzing disease while also simultaneously growing accustomed to Roberts’ snarky comments and crude pranks. We soon come to learn that Roberts has a list of “America’s lame roadside attractions”. In an effort to avoid his tragic past, Rudd averts his own internal struggle and pain and encourages Roberts to go on a roadtrip to see each attraction on his trustee map.

Along the way, they encounter a roadside-runaway girl (Selena Gomez) that Roberts’ character has taken a liking to. Out of the pure adrenaline of spontaneity, the duo decide to take Gomez under their wing (or rather, into their minivan). Together, all three go on a journey filled with laughter, dark humor, countless Slim Jims, and self-discovery. It is evident that each character is on a run from their lives and the struggles that come packaged with it. However, one by one, they are forced to confront their issues, leaving the audience in a pool of emotions as each scene hits a little too close to home.

Considering the fact that I’ve cried during practically every Disney movie, it doesn’t exactly come as a surprise that at one moment I was sitting in a puddle of tears and tissues and Kit Kat wrappers and the next, finding it hard to resist laughing at the witty banter exchanged between the incredibly dynamic characters.

On the surface, The Fundamentals of Caring is a movie that seems to deem ‘scroll-past’ worthy, like one that can get lost in the countless critically-acclaimed movies and TV shows available on Netflix. However, if you take the time to sit down and glue your eyes to the screen (Gorilla glue works best), I promise it is one that will not disappoint.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from this movie, it’s that sometimes life calls on you to take a chance – to take a risk. As someone who avoids taking risks like the plague, I can assure you that sometimes getting out of your comfort zone and taking a chance on things can work out far more gloriously than sticking to ‘safe’ could ever be. Do it. I dare you. Watch this movie and let it take you on a Slim Jim-filled journey.