Everybody has a story to tell, one that may be filled with tragical events in the past, one that does include a health problem one that makes you drive around in a wheelchair the rest of your life and one that does include the escape from family life and starting a new life.It doesn’t matter in which situation you were or may be in a possible future – life is full of choices and here three people come together because they made choices. One of them is that they decide to make a Road Trip or at least a part of it together and within this trip they learn some valuable lessons for life.
The story starts with Ben, an unsuccessful writer who – due to his divorce and a tragic moment in his recent past – decides to start to work as a caregiver. He makes the course, passes the test and starts his first job at a house where a kid has to be taken care of. The kid eighteen years old, named Trevor suffers from DMD Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, , a disorder that not only reduces his life span but makes him also drive around in a wheelchair. Especially because he is not in full control of his body. His mother mostly takes care of him and shows him love and works hard to give him whatever he needs. Due to his situation Trevor developed a strange kind of humor, one that has a sarcastic tone and a very direct way of telling what he wants. Ben learns that in the past a lot of caregivers have left crying, in this very case Trevor and Ben kinda work it out.Ben learns to cope with the humour and Trevor learns that Ben is listening and helping him.
At one point Ben finds out that the family knows about his life circumstances and the tragic loss of his son. The following conflict leads to a humorous meant joke from Trevor to his mother, a misunderstanding and furthermore to a Road Trip. One that will end at the deepest pit in the world, a place Trevor wants to see. On their way they meet Dot, a girl that is on their way to Denver where she wants to start a new life, away from her family. Dot is rough and her direct way of telling somehow fascinates Trevor. The trio travels a part of this journey together and this is where the real adventure starts.
The Movie is based on the novel “The Revised Fundamentals of Caring“ by Jonathan Evison. Book and Movie both put the characters, life and choices for life in the middle. We, the audience are confronted with real life characters here, Ben is a writer that wrote some novels no one ever read, furthermore he is haunted by a tragic death of his son and his wife wants to be divorced. As dark as it seems we see also a character who doesn’t give up, one that does move onwards. The decision to start working as a caregiver itself shows us that he wants to do something, participate and be part of the world. During his relationship with the Trevor we see that he and the experiences he made in life helps to cope with the sarcastic humour of Trevor.
Apart from Ben, the audience is confronted with Trevor, a kid that learns that he will not be able to live a life like ordinary kids. He is dependant on help and support from others, may it be his mother or a caregiver. From bringing him juice, accompanying while watching tv shows to wiping his ass. During his live he learned to cope with his situation, more or less by being sarcastic or by making devilish jokes with them. Pretending that he is crazy or that he is suffocating and choking a lot are only a few of his slightly sadistic ways of making
When they start the road trip to the deepest pit we are seeing Trevor who is not keen on travelling and is making it quite difficult for Ben and delivers some of most memorable sarcastic jokes. This kinda changes when they decide to invite a girl named Dot which they meet at a gas station and later in a restaurant. Dot brings the humour and strangeness into the group that seemed to be overdue. She is not shy, apart from calling Ben a pervert when he addresses her first she directly asks Trevor what defects his disease causes, if it effects his brains or his penis. From this point onwards the trio kinda grows together and we even see a small glimpse of love interest from Trevor towards Dot. He surely seldom has met girls his own age and especially not one that directly confronts his humour. During the trip the dialoges between the characters are mainly focussed on their life and what they made out of it and where their road leads to. Much philosophy is shared on the road, fortunately in a very shot and direct way. There is no talking around an issue, everything gets handled in a direct way.
Thanks to the talent of actors like Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts and Selena Gomez this movie gets a personal touch and never gets boring. Each one of them plays his and her strengths, may it be comedian or tragic. Each moment, each dialogue is played well and the fact that this movie was filmed in less than a month (according to imdb.com) shows that all people involved in this project were amazingly professionell.
The story itself makes you think about life, wether it may be to live in the moment or to take a closer look on the people surrounding you. It is said that you are able to help people when you are able to help yourself. In reality this doesn’t happen to be very often. As it is showed here people decide to help because of different reasons, some of them being that they are not able to do otherwise or are looking for some sense in their life. Apart from that we see that life is a journey, full of decisions and experiences we make alongside, mostly together and the later ones have enough potential to be the most beautiful ones.
A story that is filled with moments of laughter, tragedy and philosophy, for some maybe even tears is more than many of can ask for nowadays. This one delivers it all, from the very first moment to the last shot we learn not only to love the characters, but due to the fact that they are plausible all the way we learn to understand them.