Before this film, I struggled to ever take Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) seriously. Usually his roles lack pathos, but The Fundamentals of Caring brings Rudd out of his shell that we see in his past filmography. Craig Roberts (Submarine) is also brilliant in his role as Trevor. I have to admit that I loved his character in Neighbors, but this character adds depth to his repertoire. I should probably check out Submarine now for more of his superb acting. I really like the casting choices of Rudd and Roberts together because they both have a sort of immature aura surrounding them. However when they are put together in this film, they mesh with each other instantly. The amount of two shots throughout the film place them at an equal level, even with the age difference of the two actors.
The charm of this film strikes early, but unfortunately peels away towards the end. A pivotal scene relating to Ben's background comes off as cheesy and less worthy of the build-up that precedes it. Flashbacks fade in and out at a really odd time with the current story. Clearly life and death are being reflected, but the reality comes as less of a shock and more of a predictable outcome for Rudd's character. The flashbacks create an inauthentic emotion for Rudd, which leaves the audience with misbelief and lack of interest. The first half of the film is a fun voyage with the two main characters, but the developed story is forced upon us at the end.
The Bottom Line: The film plays with deep concepts of life and death a little bit too much at the end, but the early parts of the film are fun and hilarious because of the relationship of Ben and Trevor.
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