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Come as You Are

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Come as You Are Movie Poster Image
Touching, mature road comedy about people with disabilities.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 106 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Demonstrates importance of representation. Also has a message about sex: It matters more when it's about partners who love and trust each other.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Representation includes not just people with disabilities but also characters of different cultural backgrounds. Even though the characters are flawed, they're three-dimensional, nuanced. They're all wrestling with various issues and occasionally indulge in less than admirable behavior. Sam is shown to be slightly more responsible, but not so much so that she doesn't drive the men on their road trip.

Violence

Comical bar fight, with punching, head-butting, a bloody face. Loud arguing. Mild violent dialogue, disparaging remarks.

Sex

Characters watch porn movies (Anal Therapy 3) in a hotel room; audio is heard. A man wakes up with an erection, sticking up under blankets. Kissing, prostitutes, sex noises. Sexy dream about woman in skimpy swimsuit; near kiss. Flirting, near kiss. A woman is ogled. Very strong, frequent sexual innuendo/talk. Character asks for a "nudie mag." Character asks his companions to shave his privates. A mother bathes her paraplegic son (nothing sensitive shown).

Language

Extremely strong language, with tons of uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bulls--t," "c--ksucker," "c--k," "p---y," "t-ts," "a--hole," "ass," "bitch," "goddamn," "d--k," "boner," "douche," "hoo-hoo," "pr--k," "balls," "junk," "knob," "moron," "anal," "loser," "hooker," "whore," etc.

Consumerism

McDonald's arches on view during road trip.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking in bar, followed by morning hangovers played for laughs. Whiskies at brothel. Other social beer drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Come as You Are is a touching, funny road-trip comedy about three young men with disabilities who decide to visit a brothel that caters specifically to them. Language is constant and extreme, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," "p---y," and more. There's also very strong sex talk/innuendo, as well as kissing, flirting, sex noises, porn-watching, and ogling of women. A character wakes up with an erection under the blankets and later asks his companions to shave his privates. Characters drink socially, and some wake up with hangovers. A bar fight is played for laughs but includes punching, head-butting, and bloody faces, as well as shouting and arguing, violent talk, and disparaging remarks. The story shows the importance of representation, even though the characters aren't always well-behaved.

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What's the story?

In COME AS YOU ARE, 24-year-old paraplegic Scotty (Grant Rosenmeyer), who's unhappy with his life, usually lashes out with sarcasm. At his regular therapy center, Scotty takes an instant dislike to handsome newcomer Matt (Hayden Szeto), a former athlete who's lost the use of his legs. But when Scotty finds out about a brothel in Canada that services those with disabilities, he dreams up a plan to lose his virginity. First he must recruit two others in order to rent a wheelchair-accessible van. Matt is a likely candidate, and so is 35-year-old, legally blind Mo (Ravi Patel), who works at the clinic and is also a virgin. To start, Scotty and Matt must escape from their worrying, controlling parents -- but then they must contend with their driver, Sam, who unexpectedly turns out to be a woman (Gabourey Sidibe), and one who isn't about to take any guff from anyone.

Is it any good?

A remake of a 2011 Belgian film, this funny, heartwarming road comedy perfectly translates to English and also smoothly overcomes the potential pitfalls of too many creaky formula twists. Director Richard Wong brings the same kind of surprising freshness to Come as You Are that was evident in his delightful (and little-seen) Colma: The Musical. He somehow transcends cliché with a burst of sheer brightness and joy. On paper, the four main characters could easily be "types," locked into certain behaviors, but the writing, directing, and acting bring them all to life.

Rosenmeyer is plenty of fun, with his own brand of swagger. He's loud, rude, and infantile but still somehow lovable; he comes from a place of hurt and truth. The other characters also effectively layer levels of humanity into their performances, making them pop into three dimensions. The parents -- delightfully played by Janeane Garofalo and C.S. Lee, among others -- are likewise heartfelt, not just pursuing buzzkillers. Better still, Come as You Are is brave enough to take the final step, exploring precisely what a sexual encounter actually means for these men, without being graphic, and coming up with a most satisfying conclusion.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Come as You Are depicts sex. What values are imparted? Is sex a transaction or something to be shared?

  • How are characters with disabilities portrayed? Are they admirable? Are they humanly flawed and entertaining? Are they stereotypes?

  • How is drinking portrayed? Is it glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • What's the appeal of the "road movie"?

Movie details

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