He’s never a performing artist that goes over constrained, and he does his best to discover reality in Burnett’s overwritten script.
“The Fundamentals of Caring” is one of those movies in which we meet a man who won’t sign his legal documents yet know, since we’ve seen motion pictures some time recently, that he will by the last scene. It’s a “lesson motion picture,” one in which we’re going to watch individuals begin off in spots of misery and sharpness and advance towards bliss. Presently, there’s undeniable value in movies that do this well. They show us that we are all prepared to do more than we might suspect we are, that even our darkest days will be trailed by light. It’s one reason silver screen can in any case be an effective imaginative power for good, and natural in what Roger Ebert characterized as the “compassion machine” of film. But then it’s not hard to tell when that compassion feels unmerited or manipulative. The characters in “The Fundamentals of Caring” aren’t genuine individuals as much as they are strings holding up to pull at your heart.