This feature film was scheduled to screen at South by Southwest (SXSW). Screen Zealots will continue some of our planned coverage of SXSW, the annual film festival in Austin, Texas that was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Picture this: a group of three horny bros hit the road for a cross-country journey to a brothel after making a pact to lose their virginity. It’s the familiar plot of a mildly raunchy sex comedy you’ve seen dozens of times before, but “Come As You Are” throws in a bit of a twist, as the three young men in question are all disabled. The story may not be wholly original, but the characters are.
Based on a true story, the film tells the story of a trio of guys who flee their overbearing parents in a covert sneak-out (dubbed “Operation Copulation”) for a road trip across the Canadian border with the ultimate goal of hiring prostitutes. The pensive Matt (Hayden Szeto) and loudmouth Scotty (Grant Rosenmeyer) are in wheelchairs, while the slightly older Mo (Ravi Patel) is visually impaired. They hire van driver and traveling nurse Sam (Gabourey Sidibe) to command the ship, and all four learn life lessons, and embrace their independence, during their brief time together.
It’s refreshing to see the normalization of disabilities on screen, especially with a group that’s often de-sexualized by society. The film doesn’t ignore their sex drives, and it gives a real sense of what it’s like to be an adult who is dependent on others, especially when it comes to being a young man. The characters are treated with respect, and they feel genuine.
The cast of misfits is charismatic, the journey of underdogs is universally relatable, and the shared human longing to overcome obstacles is inspiring. Not only is “Come As You Are” a crowd pleaser, it’s a reminder to always live life to the fullest no matter what obstacles you’re dealt along the way.