The road trip movie has a long and mostly terrible history. The genre has been done so much and has such specific requirements (you need a road, you need a trip, you need a car, you need an end goal) that it’s become pretty redundant. You also need a stellar cast who can hit comic timing right and a story about human growth that doesn’t feel like it’s been told a million times over. In short, to make a great road trip movie now you need to break out of the box while still playing in it.
Come As You Are does this wonderfully. It is a bog standard road trip film and in being that it becomes special.
Come As You Are
Director: Richard Wong
Release Date: N/A
Come As You Are is actually a doubly rare film in that it executes its road trip story well and it’s a remake of a foreign film — Belgium’s Hasta La Vista — that’s actually better than the original. Scotty (Grant Rosenmeyer) is a genetically disabled guy living with his mom and only has control of two things: his head and his cock. Desperate to actually have sex, he learns of a brothel in Canada that caters to handicapped individuals and convinces his blind friend Mo (Ravi Patel) and the recently disabled Matt (Hayden Szeto) to join him on the adventure. The only problem is they can’t tell their parents and they don’t have much cash, so they book the cheapest handicap taxi service they can find, bringing Sam (Gabourey Sidibe) into their adventure as their driver, and head out on an adventure.
What’s great about the film is its lack of greatness. That sounds bad but its the fact that it treats the movie as a road trip and comedy first and a movie about handicap people second that makes it work. Yes, the characters disabilities affect the plot, but the growth they have as characters and the comedy that plays out would be just as relevant if they didn’t have disabilities at all. By playing it straight the film delivers something different.
Part of any road trip movie is that the cast actually plays off each other well. You’ve got to have chemistry for a comedy to work in the first place, and when you’re cramming the majority of that comedy into a tiny car you’ve got to have it in spades. This cast truly makes the movie work. Szeto as the straight man is on point, bouncing the antics of Rosenmeyer perfectly and the neurosis of Patel with skill. It’s a pleasure to watch them work together. Unfortunately, Sidibe doesn’t quite jive as well with the rest. She’s not as integral, but her performance, especially in the beginning, feels a bit forced. But the main trio are hilarious together, with Rosenmeyer leading in a brash comedic role that pushes offensive humor but never becomes offensive.
The being said, the film does play it very straight, hitting every point you expect over and over again until a striking moment at the end. It’s the beginning, middle, and end that you’ve come to expect from a road trip movie hitting the comedy one would expect. Yet, as I’ve said, this normalcy makes it special because it’s a movie about people who are normal but not always perceived that way. It’s a good comedy that gets better simply because it is good at the basics.