Heart warming and humorous

Jamie Glenn

“The Fundamentals of Caring” teaches the importance of living life, valuing friendships and trying new things, all while exceeding expectations of others and breaking disability stereotypes.

re-fundamentals-of-caringThe movie is a Netflix original film based on the novel “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving” by Jonathan Evison. The movie stars Craig Roberts as Trevor, a teenager living with muscular dystrophy, and Paul Rudd takes on the role of Ben, an unsuccessful writer who takes up home healthcare services after completing a 6-week course and becomes Trevor’s home aid.

The movie is a raw attempt to embody the emotions of a teen with muscular dystrophy.  But let’s not play the sympathy card. Trevor plays up the unrealistic actions of a teenager with a disability.

He does so by making numerous jokes about his situation. This often includes faking his death. Trevor’s sadistic sense of humor may be a reaction to having every breath of his days planned out to a T by his overbearing mother.

Ben makes it apparent early in the two’s relationship that he is going to push Trevor to exceed his comfort zone.

After all, life is worth much more than just eating waffles and sitting in front of a television screen. Ben strategically plans out a monumental trip across the country that forces Trevor to  expand his horizons and try new things.

The character of Dot, played by Selena Gomez, joins the journey after merely commenting on Trevor’s shoes at a gas station. Peaches, a pregnant woman who is stranded alongside the road with a broken down car, joins the group. Slim Jim’s, love, and love of Slim Jim’s are discovered by Trevor whilst on the road.

The trip validates the formation of new relationships, discoveries and a few disappointments.

Though this film was delightful in many aspects and the actors did not fail to deliver, I found  the use of heavy language to be a bit extensive and overbearing at times. Viewers can only hear so many curse words before they are devalued.

The fragments of backstory that deliver Ben’s motivations for becoming a caregiver were a bit shattered and disoriented as well. This film does a wonderful job at breaking the stereotypes of those with disabilities.

It stresses the importance of advocacy and accessibility while reminding us that Trevor too is awkward around girls, and he too finds it easy to hit the snooze button on Monday morning.

He’s human, he’s normal. He doesn’t need to be excluded from life’s experiences just because he’s in a wheelchair.