I have a fairly dry, sarcastic sense of humor, and movies, though they often try, rarely appeal to that humor. Rob Burnett’s “The Fundamentals of Caring” is one of the rare films that managed to tickle my funny bone. I was surprised to find myself laughing out loud—quite frequently, too. Aside from the film’s particular brand of humor, there were also interesting characters and a quirky adventure.
“The Fundamentals of Caring” follows Ben, a writer with a traumatic past who gets a job caring for Trevor, a teen with muscular dystrophy. The two head out on a journey to find the world’s deepest pit, meeting different obstacles and characters along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamics between these two characters. Their relationship is far from perfect, but it is clear they provide the kinship that the other needs most. They have some truly delightful banter along with some sincerely touching moments.
Trevor is definitely my favorite character in the movie. He’s complicated and relatable. He can be timid at times, but he doesn’t let his muscular dystrophy keep him down. He covers insecurities with sarcasm. He likes to dream of deep pits in the ground but has hardly even left his home. I was rooting for him the entire time, and I was quite satisfied with where his character ends up.
There are some sub-plots I didn’t care all that much about or find too engrossing. A pregnant woman named Peaches comes along, and while she has the potential to add a lot of energy to the story, she mostly feels like she’s there to help Ben’s character arc come to fruition, which is frustrating.
I also wasn’t really sold on the romance between Trev and runaway teenager Dot. While I think they could have made a fascinating couple, their relationship is not developed the way it should have been to make me root for them to be together.
This movie really is a hoot and a half, though. It’s weird enough to stand apart from other teens-finding-themselves stories, and funny enough to make me want to watch it again.