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CLIP: 01:00:00 – 01:07:40
Writer Ben (Paul Rudd) retires after a personal tragedy and becomes a caregiver. The teenager he is caring for, Trevor, is a very angry wheel- chair-using teen whose father has been absent since he received his diagnosis at the age of 3. He has never left the house, kissed a girl or travelled anywhere. When Ben and Trevor embark on an impromptu road trip to find Trevor’s father, their ability to cope is severely tested as they start to understand the importance of hope and friendship.
Netflix’s The Fundamentals of Caring is an indie comedy that balances quirky characters with tragedy. Over the course of the film, the central duo end up meeting and picking up several colourful characters, learning plenty about themselves and each other along the way. This would usually signal a rather syrupy film filled with forced emotion, but luckily The Fundamentals of Caring manages to stay on the right side of funny and charming. There is plenty on offer for young people to engage with, and there is even the potential for a few tears along the way.
This particular clip focuses on two scenes. The first shows Trevor on a date with Dot (a runaway teenager who has joined them on their journey) while Ben watches from afar. Ben is joined by Peaches, and the pair discuss Ben’s experience of being a father. In the second scene, Trevor visits his absent father. Trevor has been receiving letters from his father for years and wants to respond to his letters in person. Having journeyed halfway across the country, Ben is hopeful that this reunion will be a life-changing moment for Trevor, who has finally begun to embrace certain aspects of life.
Note that there is some mild bad language in this clip.
After showing the clip as a stimulus, break into small discussion groups (you may wish to have a designated discussion leader in each group) and consider the following questions:
- How many views on and versions of parenthood were displayed?
- Is the traditional family model an outdated concept?
- How do you think Trevor was feeling during his meeting with his father? How does that contrast with his father’s feelings?
- Do parents always have a responsibility towards their children?
Many themes could be explored from this clip, from parenthood to suffering. Having watched these scenes, it is likely that a lot of young people will be drawn to the theme of disappointment that Trevor feels. As a prompting stimulus to explore this further, read Isaiah 40:27-31 together. Then return to your smaller groups and discuss the following questions:
- How does this passage make you feel?
- Are its teachings consistent with the world’s? Why or why not?
- What does this passage encourage us to do with disappointment?
- What does this passage teach us about our relationship with God?
The Fundamentals of Caring is currently available on Netflix.
Supporting documentsClick link to download and view these files
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