Come as You Are (2020)

Ravi Patel, Hayden Szeto, Grant Rosenmeyer, and Gabourey Sidibe star in 'Come as You Are' 



Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, Ravi Patel, Gabourey Sidibe, Janeane Garofalo, C.S. Lee

Directed by Richard Wong

Sex comedies about guys on a mission to get laid are a dime a dozen, “Road Trip,” “American Pie,” “The Last American Virgin,” and “Porky’s” come to mind. But here’s something you don’t see every day, a bunch of guys with disabilities on a mission to score as in Richard Wong’s “Come as You Are.” The deep-down tender comedy with a brash exterior is based on a true story covered in a 2007 BBC One documentary which later inspired the Belgium film “Hasta la Vista.” This remake goes from crass to compassionate with some funny moments. The film benefits from a solid cast and Erik Linthorst’s script.

Grant Rosenmeyer, who got his acting start as one of Ben Stiller’s track suit-wearing kids in “The Royal Tenenbaums,” plays Scotty, a mid-20s quadriplegic who lives with his overbearing mom played by Janeane Garofalo. He’s dependent on her to bathe him and help with everyday tasks which may explain his anger and foul mouth. Scotty is also the horniest guy in the film and the driving force behind a plan to take a road trip to a legal brothel in Montreal that caters to people with special needs.

Because of Scotty’s demeanor he doesn’t have a lot of friends at physical therapy, but he needs a way to get across the Canadian border, which means hiring a driver, paying for hotel rooms, and expenses. So, he devises a plan to find two other virgins to split the cost of the trip and first on the list is new patient Matt (“Edge of Seventeen’s” Hayden Szeto), a good-looking athlete who was recently confined to a wheelchair by a sports injury. His girlfriend just left him because of his injury and like Scotty he lives with domineering parents.

Initially Scotty is threatened by Matt, whom he feels will steal attention from the ladies and he nicknames the jock “biceps.” After pushing him away, Scotty realizes he needs Matt to carry out his plan and pulls a 180 befriending him and explaining his plan.  Matt figure's he's got nothing to lose and after feeling rejected by his ex, he's all in. 

The third member of the group is Mo (Ravi Patel), a 35-year old blind worker at the physical therapy center who also happens to be a virgin. He’s the cautious one of the trio with the largest bank account and without him the play is a no go. Since he knows Scotty is full of himself, Matt has to be the one to convince Mo to go along with the plan. Patel, who starred alongside Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen in “Longshot” will next be seen in “Wonder Woman 2” with Gal Gadot.

“Come as You Are” turns into a road trip film as the three men head from Colorado to the Le Chateau Paradis brothel in Montreal. Gabourey Sidibe plays Sam, the groups driver who’s not aware of their mission at the onset but falls in line with the plan once everyone is honest with her.

The film starts out unrefined and vulgar, thanks to Scotty, but soon that hard exterior makes way for comedy mixed with tender moments and great performances by the cast. Director Richard Wong does a terrific job of balance the film’s shifting tones.

(3 stars)

In select theaters and available on streaming platforms 

Joe Friar is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (Los Angeles) and the Houston Film Critics Society.  He co-founded the Victoria Film Society and reviews films for Hit Radio 104.7 and the Victoria Advocate.

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Joe Friar is a member of the Critics Choice Association (Los Angeles) and the Houston Film Critics Society. A lifelong fan of cinema, he co-founded the Victoria Film Society, Frels Fright Fest, and is a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic.

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