During my week to myself, I was always going to end up having some dates with Netflix, and the other night I decided to have a break from the constant stream of Pretty Little Liars that has been gracing my screen recently. I was flicking through my Netflix list, looking for a film to try, and I eventually landed on one called The Fundamentals of Caring.
This film is witty and emotional and so real all mixed into one, enticing concoction. The characters are beautifully crafted and the actors do a great job of portraying them, especially Craig Roberts as Trevor. It’s a heartwarming story with underlying elements of cynicism.
Depressed Ben has just done a course on care giving in the midst of a crumbling relationship and following the loss of his son, and is heading off for his first caring job, looking after a disabled teenager, Trevor. Trevor has a very strict routine, and never leaves his house, a fact that Ben thinks is wasteful and so wants to change. He eventually convinces Trevor’s mother to let him take her son on a road trip to see some of the landmarks he’s only experienced through a TV screen. Along the way, the pair begin to bond as Trevor begins to come more and more out of his shell. They pick up a couple of other comrades along the way, including a rebellious runaway and a heavily pregnant army wife.
It’s not the kind of thing that you think will work, but somehow it does and these misfits all gel together so naturally along the road. There’s a definite dry humour to it and it’s genuinely funny throughout, while at the same time being full of emotion, and hope and promise. You find yourself becoming so attached to these characters that the details of their journey become almost secondary to the feelings they evoke. Honestly, I wasn’t sure at first, but by the end it had become one of those films that has really stayed with me, and for all the right reasons.