In the very indie film-esque indie film The Fundamentals Of Caring, Paul Rudd plays an emotionally damaged writer (as if there’s any other kind) who attempts to bounce back from a personal tragedy by dedicating his life to helping people with physical disabilities. His first client is Trevor (Craig Roberts), an 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy and a very dismal worldview. So, Rudd does the logical thing, and brings the kid on a cross-country trip to see roadside attractions like the world’s biggest bovine and its deepest pit. It probably goes without saying that along the way they pick up an adorably sassy hitchhiker (Selena Gomez) who teaches both men a thing or two about living life.
Based on former caregiver Jonathan Evison’s 2012 novel The Revised Fundamentals Of Caregiving, writer-director Rob Burnett’s (former executive producer of The Late Show With David Letterman) film looks like it will hit all the requisite notes for an low-budget movie about dudes in a car talking about their feelings. But that cast! Rudd’s presence alone can knock the watchability of any film up at least a few ticks. And thanks to his role in Richard Ayoade’s Submarine, Roberts has already given us reason to believe he’s capable of supplying the kind of morose humor needed to transcend the misty-eyed, alt-folk-soundtracked indie genre. Gomez, for her part, does not give us any reason to dread her presence, which is a promising first step.
The Fundamentals Of Caring will debut on Netflix on June 24.