Writer/director Rob Burnett’s new movie, The Fundamentals of Caring, starring Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez, premieres on Netflix on June 24th. The film shines a brilliant light on what it’s like to deal with pain and loss, and how humor can be the thing that saves us. Here, the Greenwich local shares what it was like adapting the film, taking it to Sundance (and in turn, meeting Robert Redford) and all the local spots he must visit when he’s home.
Discovering The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, which inspired the film:
“My agency knew I wanted to do an adaptation, so they began sending me books. Amazingly, this was the first book they sent me. I read it and just thought, this is lovely. But you can’t buy the first one—you feel like an idiot! I then proceeded to read 20 more books but I couldn’t get this one out of my head.”
Adapting the book for the screenplay:
“This was my first time doing an adaptation. It feels like you’re out on a date with your parents in the backseat of the car. It’s very intimidating. The book is so beautiful. But at some point, you have to take the spirit of the story and make it your own.”
Having a torrid on-set affair with his assistant: “That would be my wife, Eunice. One of my favorite things about this project is Eunice’s on-screen credit: ‘Assistant to Mr. Burnett.’ I’m getting that framed and putting it up in the house. Actually, maybe all over the house.”
Meeting Robert Redford at Sundance: “He’s a very cool guy. I’ve been around celebrities long enough to know to leave them alone. But I just couldn’t do it here. All the directors were invited to a luncheon, and afterward, we just descended upon him like jackals.”
Rob’s Local Favorites in Greenwich
For top-notch drinks: Bruce Park Grill—if by “top notch” you mean $2 beers and no suits in sight.
For a romantic meal: Gabriele’s Italian Steakhouse. Great food and Tony makes you feel like you’re at home.
For picking up something fresh: Fjord’s Fish Market. Those boys know fish and if you don’t enjoy chatting with a first-rate fishmonger, you’re not living your life properly.
For coffee: Give me the giant iced coffee from the Dunkin’ Donuts in Riverside and I’m happy for four hours!
For watching the game: The Greenwich Skating Club on a crisp winter Friday night when the Wings are beating Darien or New Canaan
For people watching: Greenwich Avenue. You’re more likely to see people kiss in front of Méli Mélo than Sundown Saloon. More arguments in front of the Apple Store than Starbucks. And for all text and no talk, Pinkberry.
For finding inspiration: The Audubon on John Street. It’s just you, birds and people who love birds.