Come As You Are review: Warm-hearted ensemble comedy
Ivan Radford | On 22, Jul 2020
Director: Richard Wong
Cast: Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, Ravi Patel, Gabourey Sidibe
Watch Come As You Are online in the UK: Sky Cinema / NOW / Curzon Home Cinema / Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Virgin Movies / Rakuten TV / Google Play / CHILI
It’s not often that a film spawns two separate remakes within a couple of years. It’s also not often that a film takes its title quite as literally as Come As You Are, a comedy about three young men with disabilities trying to lose their virginity.
That frank, playful tone underpins the whole endeavour, and it makes for a surprisingly sincere yet raucous romp. Grant Rosenmeyer stars as the immature Scotty, a paraplegic who wants to get out from under the thumb of his mum, Liz (Janeane Garofalo – both overbearing and caring), and make his way to a brothel across the Canadian border. To do this, he enlists the help of Matt (Hayden Szeto), an athlete who is now in a wheelchair. Also wanting to get away from his concerned parents (CS Lee, Jennifer Jelsema), he signs up for the expedition – along with Mo (Ravi Patel), who works at their physical therapy centre and has a vision impairment.
Driving them into perceived adulthood is nursing veteran Sam (Gabourey Sidibe), who soon begins to regret taking the gig. Will they all become friends over the course of their raunchy road trip? There are no points for predicting the plot, but there are points to the cast for bringing a charm and vulnerability to their roles; a bond that grows between Mo and Sam is genuinely endearing, while Scotty and Matt end up far more timid and sweet than their exciteable motivations initially suggest. (Sidibe steals the whole show in a wonderfully generous performance.)
A climactic sequence involving a musical number cements the heart of the film being in its chest rather than between its legs, and director Richard Wong keeps the focus on character rather than contrived set pieces; their chemistry shines, almost enough to help you forgive the film for casting able-bodied actors to play its lead trio. If the movie matched its well-attuned script (by Erik Linthorst) with more progressive casting choices, this would be a modern classic in its own right. As it is, it’s a surprisingly charming remake, and that’s reason enough to watch.
Come As You Are is available on Sky Cinema. Don’t have Sky? You can also stream it on NOW, as part of an £11.99 NOW Cinema Membership subscription.