A Disabled Reviewers Perspective on Come As You Are.

If this writer had to pick his least favourite sub-genre of film as someone who has seen hundreds throughout his 26 years the sex comedy would probably be it. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with it but after being weaponized for success by Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen and friends from the mid-2000s to the early 2010s a very specific brand of incredibly male centric sex comedies dominated cinemas. There are only so many times you can watch the same comedians in very similar roles deliver scatological material about genitalia or how match the main  character  (normally male)wants to climb into bed with this central female  who is way out of his league (and may or may not have gone to the Michael Bay school of contemporary objectification.)   

Normally this writer’s disability would not be relevant in discussion and review of a particular film. Most depictions of disability in film are prime “inspiration porn” meant to showcase just how revolutionary the thought of disabled people getting out of bed every morning and attempting to make something of their lives.  These two worlds have collided with this writer’s passion for reviewing content with the release of Come As You Are. This disability focused sex comedy focuses on three guys   on a mission to visit a service that enables people with disabilities to have a sexual experience.

When first seeing the trailer for the film this reviewer thought it was dreadful. not because it was particularly tasteless or offensive in any way. Rather that it seemed like a relic of the exact trends and style of film described in the opening paragraph. The fact that the cast was entirely able boarded certainly did not help matters although in this writer’s view it’s better to have a good film with inauthentic representation then a bad film that hits all its representation beats effectively. Nevertheless, this was a film worth giving a chance and if nothing else this author knew he could provide an interesting angle on the film in his writing regardless of how it turned out. How is the film?

Well Come As You Are may be a bit better than initially expected the extended preamble the has taken up the review until this point is significantly more interesting than the film itself. It’s the sort of middling R rated comedy that might have been able to straddle the line between indie and mainstream success a decade ago but in 2020 feel somewhat dime a dozen.  Likeable enough and very effectively showcasing the challenges and sense of achievement travelling independently with a disability. The cast (despite their lack of disability) are perfectly fine but no one particularly stands out. There are some amusing moments but nothing that any audience member will particularly remember as soon as the credits have rolled. With the disability angle excluded it is the sort of inessential 6/10 that will get lost in the shuffle of an increasingly crowded indie film market.

Come As You Are was frustrating in that the full film somewhat subverted expectations when compared to the trailer (much has this resulted in a better viewing experience.)  What that means in terms of this review is that the extended preamble is a lot longer  than discussion of the films  the content which is a very standard indie comedy of the type that may have found success in the art house theatrical circuit 10 years ago but in the age of  streaming/VOD releases feels dime a dozen. If it were not for the disability angle this film would be released and then quickly forgotten as it offers nothing new or exceptional to the conversation in this specific subgenre. The disability activist within this writer it’s glad to have seen it and surprised  that it wasn’t excruciating but it’s hard to recommend outside of curiosity factor thanks to the thousands of films implementing its tone and style much more effectively.

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