This will be one of many reviews during this year’s SXSW Film Festival, to keep up with our latest coverage, click here.
Synopsis: Three young men with disabilities hit the road with a jaded nurse driver to a brothel in Montreal catering to people with special needs. Remake of the acclaimed Belgian film ‘Hasta La Vista’. (IMDB)
Starring: Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, and Ravi Patel
Writer: Erik Linthorst
Director: Richard Wong
Running Time: 106mins
Road trip films are only as good as the characters you get to go with. Come As You Are takes the familiar road trip film and changes things up if only slightly. Based on a Belgian film entitled Hasta La Vista, it features a trio of disabled men named Scotty (Rosenmeyer), Matt (Szeto), and Mo (Patel) who decided to go on a road trip to Montreal to visit a brothel that catered to clients with special needs. Scotty was paralyzed since birth, Matt couldn’t move his legs, and Mo was completely blind. Their respective disabilities made them dependent on the people around them and deprived them of the normal life they wanted.
Trying to make a comedy with primarily disabled characters is a slippery slope and this was definitely the case here as the humor would miss the target more often than not. The focus of the story was Scotty who wasn’t necessarily the most likable character. Everything else would pretty much snowball from there as he would suck up all the proverbial air. Both Matt and Mo weren’t overly developed as characters either. As a whole, this would make harder to buy into their group dynamic. However, there were some fun times to be had here, especially thanks to the counterbalance of a jaded nurse name Sam (Gabourey Sidibe) who was along for the ride.
The performances across the board were okay for the most part. The story would be fun to watch at times but the chemistry between the leads was lacking enough to create a satisfying enough dynamic. The best part of the film had to be Sidibe’s energetic performance as Sam. Her personality and comedic timing were on point here so it was a shame that we didn’t get enough of her here.
Overall, Come As You Are is a decent road trip dramedy that could never fully develop a satisfying enough dynamic between its main characters. Despite having some moments, it never gave us enough reason to invest in the characters before losing steam by the end.