As road movies go, Come As You Are follows a well-worked formula quite closely. It goes something like this: a group of young friends decide to go on a road trip together to overcome a fear or hang-up. In the process of doing so they also learn a lot more about themselves and thus the purpose of the trip changes despite the goal remaining the same.
That opening paragraph drastically does this film a disservice, because the unique plot elements are more than enough to allow this film to feel fresh and deliver an effective message. The three Flemish friends in this case all suffer from a form of physical handicap: Lars (Gilles de Schryver) is wheelchair-bound due to a debilitating and aggressive brain tumour; Philip (Mariano Vanhoof) suffers from paraplegia and has vastly restricted physical movement, thus needing constant care; Jozef (Tom Audenaert) is almost fully blind and can only see vague outlines of objects. The story starts with Philip, who has recently discovered that there is a brothel set up in the south of Spain especially for men with physical disabilities, so they decide they need to trick their parents into letting them go on a holiday to the vineyards of Europe, with the brothel as their real destination.
The basic hilarity of this situation would be easy to play for cheap laughs, but director Geoffrey Enthoven and writer Pierre De Clercq thankfully find a more pertinent voice in the bittersweet frustration of their situation. Whilst the holiday should be a huge release to finally get away from their parents and see the outer world at their own pace, the day-to-day reality of their disabilities is far too restrictive.
One of the more interesting story arcs is actually for the backup minibus driver Claude