This film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and is now on Netflix Streaming. It is based on the Jonathan Evison novel “The Revised Fundamentals of Caring.”
Ben Benjamin (Paul Rudd) has been devastated by a personal tragedy, and, although it occurred several years ago, he hasn’t been able to get past it. He is separated from his wife, Janet (Julia Denton), but he won’t sign the divorce papers because he “doesn’t feel ready.” Ben hasn’t worked in years and needs money, so he takes a 6-week course to certify him as a caregiver. He then gets hired to be the caretaker for a teenage boy, Trevor (Craig Roberts), who is disabled from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which occurs at a frequency in males of 1/3500.
After a brief time taking care of Ben at his home, the duo hit the road to see some unusual sights, including the world’s biggest bovine and the world’s deepest pit. Another mission of the trip is for Trevor to visit his father, Bob (Frederick Weller), in Salt Lake City. His father abandoned him and his mother shortly after his birth, but he has been sending Trevor letters regularly.
The film is primarily about Ben and Trevor’s bonding on the road trip. It’s basically a drama, but there are plenty of funny lines, and Rudd and Roberts each do a great job. Both characters evolve in interesting and subtle ways over the course of their brief trip.
In the later part of the film, a hitchhiker, Dot (Selena Gomez), joins them and she provides a low-key romantic interest for Trevor, as well as some comic relief.
The film holds your interest and moves at a nice pace. It’s a good TV home movie, and I think most of you will enjoy it. I’ve given you this movie’s “fundamentals,” but I “don’t care” if you see it or not!