Come As You Are is a remake of the 2011 Belgian movie Hasta La Vista which itself was based on the true story of Miami born, Leeds based Asta Philpot.
Philpot is affected with arthrogryposis and, whilst holidaying in Spain, he heard of a brothel with wheelchair access. After visiting, he decided to organise trips for others in a similar situation to himself and was joined by two men, one legally blind, the other paralysed after a motorcycle accident.
The whole thing was filmed by a BBC documentary unit and shown in 2007 and was subsequently made into the movie, Hasta La Vista, and that film has been subsequently made into Come As You Are, in which Philpot stars as the brothel owner.
However, our main protagonists are Scotty, Grant Rosenmeyer (“Money Monster”, “Temps”), Matt, Hayden Szeto (“The Edge Of Seventeen”, “Fortune Cookie”) and Mo, Ravi Patel (“Meet The Patels”, “Transformers”).
Scotty has been confined to a wheelchair since birth and needs help to do most everything, Matt is paralysed from the waist down and Mo is blind. It’s Scotty, with his loudmouth and brash attitude, who learns of the brothel in Montreal that caters for ‘people like him’.
But he needs more people to come along, because he can’t manage on his own, but also to split the cost of the trip. He convinces Matt, who he’s only just met, and they both convince Mo.
Their driver is Sam, Gabourey Sidibe (“Precious”, “Grimsby”), who has recently lost her nursing licence after sticking insulin in her ex-husband’s ass, though he was on top of the neighbour at the time.
Come As You Are is funny. It helps that these three men are all so different; Scotty is the loud one who will back-down immediately, Mo the quiet and considerate one and Matt the deep thinker who is headed for an early grave due to complications with his illness.
The road-trip, or fieldtrip as Mo insists on calling it, is further compounded by the guys parents chasing them across the States, as they have all snuck-out, sick of being mollycoddled by their mums and dads.
There are bar fights, hospital trips, fall-outs and blind guys driving. It’s not the most original of things you’ll see but it works, it’s funny, it’s poignant and it works.
The massive elephant in the room is the fact that none of the actors are actually disabled. The why’s and what’s happened are beyond the scope of this review but, particularly in the current climate, it isn’t great casting to put I mildly.
As I understand it, there was a time restriction on how long they had to make the film from the Belgian’s, and they elected to push ahead and get the movie out. You can make your own mind up about that.