The Fundamentals of Caring (Movie Review)

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Netflix films have always been that awkward poorly directed cheap films that aren’t worth watching (Beasts of No Nation is an exception). But this mediocre film starring Paul Rudd, Selena Gomez, and Craig Roberts shows that in the right hands a Netflix film can be okay as well. Rob Burnett takes a fairly unknown novel and transforms it into a pretty good movie, but fairly cliche. The screenplay, direction, visuals and music are all decent, but the best part of the film is its leading cast.

Paul Rudd leads the cast with an interesting and intricate performance that is interesting to watch. Rudd’s performance also helps showcase his rarely seen dramatic chops mixed with some of the witty and clever line deliverance and comic timing. Craig Roberts plays opposite him as Trevor, a young man in a wheelchair. And his very Jesse Eisenberg-style acting really works well in the role. Roberts really shows that he’s more than the supporting comic actor we’ve seen in Neighbors and 22 Jump Street and that he’s a dramatic force to be reckoned with. He is also absolutely fantastic onscreen with Rudd.

Selena Gomez also stars in the film as a young runaway woman. Gomez also showcases some great dramatic acting, especially towards the end of the film when she appears in a very sweet and dramatic scene that made the movie worth watching alone. She also has great onscreen chemistry with both Rudd and Roberts. Megan Ferguson also features as a young pregnant woman who joins the leads on their roadtrip. Ferguson is sadly though the weakest of the voyagers as she lacks the charm and charisma that the other three have. Jennifer Ehle appears in a supporting role as Roberts mother, and she sports an unpleasant and uncomfortably fake British accent that takes away from her every scene. Bobby Cannavale also features as Gomez’ father, and plays well and has one especially comical scene that is very fun to watch and his charm is also very present.

The film looks and sounds a little cliche with cinematography that you can find in Chef, Little Miss Sunshine, or The Open Road. The soundtrack also features cliche and non-useful music that doesn’t seem to fit well with the film and seems clunky and awkward. The screenplay and story are pretty good, the screenplay especially features some clever lines of dialogue that are both witty and humorous. The story however is quite cliche and doesn’t bring anything especially interesting to the roadtrip or handicapped genre. The film is basically a mix of Rain Man and Little Miss Sunshine.

This film is pretty good and shows that Netflix films are moving forward and improving film by film. The acting in the film is very good, especially that of Rudd, Roberts, and Gomez. The screenplay is witty, but the story is cliche and the visuals and soundtracks are not especially interesting. But this film is worth watching for anyone who has a Netflix subscription.

Best Aspect- Rudd, Roberts, Gomez

Worst Aspect- The cliche story

Rating- 6.8/10

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