COME AS YOU ARE

Directed by Richard Wong

Filmmakers in attendance.

Hot off its world premiere at SXSW,  COME AS YOU ARE swaps out overgrown (white) frat boys for (mostly) persons-of-color with special needs as they embark on an often hilarious, life-altering road trip in this intersectional THE HANGOVER by LAAPFF veteran Richard Wong (COLMA: THE MUSICAL, OPTION 3, YES, WE’RE OPEN).

Hayden Szeto (EDGE OF SEVENTEEN) stars as the wheelchair-bound Matt. Handsome but aloof, Matt was initially met with outright hostility from Scotty (Grant Rosenmeyer), a loud, bitter paraplegic who’s a fixture at the physical therapy center they both frequent. But soon Matt, along with Mo (Ravi Patel), a blind clinic worker, are roped into Scotty’s ill-conceived scheme to lose their virginity. As these misfits make their way north, to a Montreal brothel dedicated to servicing the disabled, they revel in their newfound independence by squabbling, bonding, and attempting to evade capture by their over-protective parents.

Inspired by a true story that also spawned the 2011 Belgian comedy HASTA LA VISTA, COME AS YOU ARE is a showcase for some terrific acting talent. While Rosenmeyer steals the show as a potty-mouthed rapper with a heart of gold, the film is anchored by Szeto’s moving, understated performance as as an athlete struck down in his prime. And Patel’s slow-burning romance with no-nonsense driver Sam (Gabourey Sidibe, from PRECIOUS) is deftly handled. Amid the ribald humor, director Richard Wong never loses sight of what makes his special needs characters tick, delivering a crowd-pleasing, generously spirited movie that’s also a step forward for diverse representation. —Ryan Wu

Co-presented with Community Partners: Asian AF, East West Players

CREDITS
Director, Director of Photography, Editor: Richard Wong
Producer: Grant Rosenmeyer, Barrett Stuart, Jacqueline”Jj” Ingram
Writer: Erik Linthorst
Exec. Producer: Franklin Leonard, Kelly Waller, Ted Reilly
Composer: Jeremy Turner
Production Designer: Amy Frazzini

Dates & Times
Past