Come As You Are - Reviewed

Posted by Laurence Green

Laurence Green sees Geoffrey Enthoven’s new tragic-comedy and leaves with a glow in his heart.

Come as you areIf you think of the idea of three disabled men who go on a road trip across Europe sounds depressing think again, for Geoffrey Enthoven’s new Belgian tragic-comedy Come As You Are (Hasta La Vista), released in the UK on June 7, is charming, funny and quite moving.

Three guys in their twenties love wine and women but are still virgins Under the guise of a wine tour they plan to go on a journey to Spain hoping to have their first sexual experience. Jozef is blind, Philip is paralysed from the neck down and Lars is in a wheelchair with a brain tumour. Their parents agree so long as they approve a nurse who will go with them and the doctors agree that it is safe. However Lars’s doctor objects, saying that his condition could become terminal at any time, and the trip appears to be off. But the young men are determined not to let anything stand in their way and, after striking a deal with a bulldog type carer, give their parents the slip and embark on their adventure.

Based on the real life experiences of Asta Philpot, an ardent campaigner for disabled people, who undertook a similar trip to find love and intimacy along with two disabled friends, this is a film about love, unconditional friendship and lust that avoids being sentimental or condescending and invites us not to laugh at the characters but with them.

Admittedly the film at almost two hours is rather overlong and crude at times but it is also a very brave and rewarding work, aided by fine performances from Robrecht Vanden Thoren, Gilles de Schryver, Tom Audenaert and Isabelle de Hertogh who manage to bring their well drawn characters vividly to life so we come to empathise with their plight.

This indeed is an inspiring movie which sends you out of the cinema with a glow in your heart.
A special charity premier of the film will take place at the Curzon Mayfair on June 5 in association with the Royal national College for the Blind and supported by additional charities such as Disability Rights UK.

Further details are available from Alex Rowley, ARPR:

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