Review by Camden Ferrell
Come as You Are is a comedy film that had its premiere at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival. This movie was directed by Richard Wong and written by Erik Linthorst. While this movie is entertaining and heartwarming, it sometimes loses its momentum and misplaces its humor.
This movie is about three men with disabilities who are driven by a nurse on a road trip. Their goal on this trip is to go to a brothel just past the Canadian border so they can lose their virginity. This is a unique concept even if it sounds a little questionable at first. However, it is refreshing to see a movie that is populated with so many characters with disabilities.
Linthorst’s script is mostly pretty decent. It does use a lot of low-ball humor and sexual jokes to drive its plot, but that is the nature of most of the movie. Considering this movie is a remake of the Belgian film Hasta La Vista, Linthorst did a fairly good job of adapting it for American audiences. It has lots of charm even if its jokes don’t always land the way they’re supposed to.
The acting is very good throughout. Grant Rosenmeyer (The Royal Tenenbaums) leads the cast including Hayden Szeto (The Good Place), Ravi Patel (Meet the Patels), and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious). Rosenmeyer does a great job with his character’s unfiltered and brutally honest remarks throughout. His timing is both awkward and funny, and he demonstrates great chemistry with the cast. Szeto and Patel also do a good job at developing their own unique styles of comedy that make this road-trip comedy fairly enjoyable.
One of the flaws with this movie is how its main cast doesn’t have any disabilities in real life. While it is the duty of the actor to act, it is disheartening to learn in a movie that is about overcoming disability and adversity, those who actually have disabilities were not used to act in the movie. Representation is an important part of filmmaking, and I wish it was handled a little bit better in this movie. It’s a problem that isn’t present unless one recognizes the able-bodied actors.
Despite this, the movie does have some nice heartwarming messages about friendship and self-acceptance. It’s often crass, but the movie does have some sweeter and more solemn moments that make it special. It’s nothing new or highly exciting, but it’s a wholesome message that people can get behind.
There are times where the movie lingers too long or overstays its welcome, and it can sometimes be off putting. Luckily, the strong cast and fair script are able to correct its shifts in momentum with enough ease to make its shortcomings mostly forgivable. There are a lot of ways this movie doesn’t reach its potential, but it’s a mostly harmless and enjoyable road trip movie.
Come as You Are does not break new ground, but it’s a fun movie about disability and friendship. It has some tender moments to balance out its crude and lewd humor. While it is flawed on many fronts, the movie is ultimately passable.
Come as You Are is now available on VOD.