Come As You Are

Though this is not a great film, it is still a fun watch. That might seem like a strange thing to say about a film featuring three young men with a variety of disabilities. Yet, it is. It worms its way into your heart with its light humour and empowering tone. Director Richard Wong (Yes, We’re Open) displays a knack for mixing laughs with tears without letting it all devolve into melodrama. Characters are true anti-heroes with none more so than Scotty. Even though you should hate the crass Scotty you like him. You fight right along with each of the three that they get what they want.

Scotty (Grant Rosenmeyer – The Royal Tennenbaums, Money Monster) is a 24-year-old who is in a wheelchair. He only has use of a couple of his fingers and his mouth. As such he lives with his mother Liz (Janeane Garofalo – from television’s Broad City), who has to do pretty much everything for him. Oh, and did I mention his penis also works? Well, it does and he is intent on getting it some action as he hasn’t been able to so far. After getting a card with the name and website address for a brothel in Montreal which caters those with special needs, he hatches a plan.

The plan involves keeping his mother in the dark, two guys from the facility where he goes for physical therapy and getting to Montreal. One of the guys is the visually impaired Mo (Ravi Patel – Transformers, Long Shot) and the other is someone he has just met, Matt (Hayden Szeto – The Edge of Seventeen, Truth or Dare), who is also in a wheelchair. The three plan everything out, Matt and Scotty keeping their overbearing parents in the dark about what they are doing, and hire a nurse Sam (Gabourey Sidibe – Precious, Seven Psychopaths) to drive them to Montreal. She is nonplussed when she finds out about the guys’ deceit to their parents. They are not impressed to find out Sam is a girl.

Once Scotty’s mom and Matt’s parents figure out what they are doing they hit the road on their tails. As you can expect, the three buddies road trip is not without its share of bumps and detours.

A total crowd pleaser! A tale of empowerment for those with disabilities. A buddy pic like you have not seen before. Meaning it is not as formulaic as that genre typically is. Though there are scenes with forecastable comedic things like a bar fight and having the visually impaired guy drive.

You get some strong character development – Scotty is a guy who can annoy everyone with his cuss laden rapping one moment then sweet the next – , fun slapstick, funny followed by poignant, and the feeling that it is a “real” film all throughout.

It is a remake of a Belgian film called Hasta La Vista and is based on a true story taken from the life of Asta Philpot, who has a small part in this film. The film premiered at SXSW last year and has continued on to be screened around North America.

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