The Fundamentals Of Caring: "I Won't Let Anything Happen To Your Son"

Director: Rob Burnett
Writer:     Rob Burnett
Starring: Paul Rudd
                Craig Roberts
                Selena Gomez
                Megan Ferguson
                Jennifer Ehle
                Frederick Weller
                Bobby Cannavale
Rating:    *****

Release Date: Now streaming on Netflix

Netflix is proving time in and time out that is the new leader of the pack. It has been producing amazing television for the past few years; this year has also see it tread the waters of film making, and they films have been a triumph. In their latest venture, Netflix has made a dramedy following a young disabled boy, his new carer and a road trip of a life time; and frankly it is yet another success.

Craig Roberts & Paul Rudd
The Fundamentals of Caring (based on Jonathan Evison's novel of the same name) is a lighthearted, yet eye opening look at grief, disability, young love and finding ones self. Following Ben (Rudd), who recently split from his wife after losing his son, who takes a job caring for Trevor (Roberts). Trevor has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and though he suffers and cannot do anything for himself, he finds the funny side of life and uses that at Ben's expense. When they decide to take a road trip to see the most unexciting road side attractions (like the largest cow), they come face to face with many challenges, both physical and personal, as well as picking up a few stragglers along the way.

Paul Rudd is on form in this drama, and he balances the fine tightrope of comedy and drama with ease and confidence. His performance is subtle, poignant and emotive; Paul Rudd is an absolute dream to watch from beginning to end. Craig Roberts is just as terrific as the dry teenager who uses humour and sarcasm to make his life seem less horrible. He is no stranger to this dry sort of role, but he has learnt to perfect this type of character, and paired with comic genius Rudd, the pair are a force to reckon with.

Not only are the comedic scenes funny, but the two men handle the drama with care and respect. They are both able to switch from funny to emotional at the flick of a switch; with Rudd especially tugging at the heartstrings when he begins to really think about his son.

Selena Gomez
With the two males being so brilliant, it means that supporting characters need to be on their A-game to match their talent. Unfortunately, Selena Gomez, as rebellious hitchhiker Dot, just isn't up to the standard they are. She isn't awful, she just seems to try to hard. The problem with her performance is the Disney Channel curse; like Miley Cyrus trying to shake of her younger alter ego, each time Gomez says something risque or rude, it comes across like a desperate attempt to show that she is a grown up now. I'm sure in time that will fade, but at the moment, her acting abilities don't allow her to shake it off yet.

The film is gritty, emotional and also very funny. Director and writer Rob Burnett has written and produced a film that weaves a steady wit and deep meaning all the way through, and for the most part, the actors handle it gracefully. Paul Rudd and Craig Roberts are perfection in their roles, and it is down to them that this film is as entrancing as it is. You hold on to their every word, and as they go on their journey, you feel like you are right there with them. Clever writing and smart casting makes The Fundamentals of Caring both a success and a cinematic marvel. 

 The Fundamentals of Caring - Trailer