Come As You Are
Come As You Are (original title Hasta La Vista) opens with a close up, slow motion tracking shot of two attractive women running. As the opening credits finish, we learn that we are witnessing this scene through the eyes of Philip (Robrecht Vanden Theoren), a young paraplegic with the desire to have sex for the first time. After confessing to his two best friends, “I don’t want to die a virgin!” Philip convinces Jozef (who suffers from blindness) and Lars (a wheelchair user with a brain tumour) to embark on a journey to Spain in order to collectively lose their virginity and unleash a cornucopia of sexual exploits under the guise of a wine tour.
Female driver Claude (Isabelle De Hertogh) accompanies the trio, as they travel in a cramp and run-down campervan to find these opportunities. The greatest asset to Come As You Are is the relationship between the central characters: the three best friends all share a believable sense of companionship, whilst looking to Claude for advice as their surrogate mother figure. All of the leads display excellent acting talent, which makes it easy for the audience to be ushered into their journey. This is especially true as, along the way, they reveal their real personalities and desire to live life to full, despite their various handicaps.
The film is inspired by the true-life stories of Asta Philpot, a paraplegic advocate for sexual experiences amongst the disabled. The events that are derived from Philpot’s experiences certainly lend the film greater authenticity, ultimately making the story involving and excellently observed.
Essentially, Come As You Are captures the essence of what all good road movies should be about: a story that focuses more on the importance of the journey rather than its destination and also chronicles the individual pursuits of its protagonists. Charming, funny and engrossing, Come As You Are is a brilliant little gem of a film, told with the perfect amount of sensitivity and humour.
Come As You Are is released nationwide on 7th June 2013.
Watch the trailer for Come As You Are here: