JWR Articles: Film/DVD - Come As You Are (Director: Richard Wong) - March 5, 2020

Come As You Are

4 4
116 min.

Can you walk in my shoes (or chair)?

In many ways, Richard Wong’s first feature is a lovely film.

Sadly, maddeningly the principal actors (Grant Rosenmeyer—paraplegic, perpetually horny, Scotty; hunky Hayden Szeto playing Matt, who is battling a life-threatening degenerative disease; and blind-as-a-bat Mo—Ravi Patel sporting the best acting chops of the three amigos) must “fake” their disabilities rather than live them. Surely in the 21st century, there are competent actors living their challenges who could add verisimilitude to Erik Lindthorst’s wonderfully crafted script.

From Scotty’s dream-infused opening-sequence hard-on (lovingly, stoically ignored by principal caregiver and mother, Janeane Garofalo), the 24-year-old’s desire to have first-time sex with a woman drives the plot.

Happily, Montreal, Canada has a special brothel for those caught in the same, er, predicament—if only it were true!

Leading the journey is former-nurse “Sam” (Gabourey Sidibe is ideally cast in the role of the tough-love mamma who most certainly has a sweet spot in her heart for those disabled or not).

And so the road trip (“no—not a field trip!”) begins, with the young men’s’ parents wondering just where their charges have gone.

Predictably, hilariously, there are some bumps along the eight-state journey. With concerned minders on their, er tails, (and Sam having a diabetic moment), it falls to limbs-are-working Mo to pilot the van out of harm’s way. The resultant “are you blind?” expletive—as he inadvertently flies through a red light—has never sounded so believable.

Once safely in a Chicago bar (and cruising the clientele for chicks), the local rednecks (“Didn’t know the Special Olympics were in town”) are, literally, mown down by a man who could never have lifted anything but his chair to pummel them (and he does!).

Scenes like these, are the film’s power. It’s not really about “getting laid,” but most certainly about finding respect from family, friend and coworkers.

For my own part (and having seen family members/friends leave the planet far before their time), I have thought long and hard about what I believe. JWR

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Director - Richard Wong
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