i have recently seen hasta la vista/come as you are and i really liked it!

3 handicapped friends, one paraplegic, one paralyzed from the waist down by an inoperable brain tumor and one nearly blind, decide to travel together from their native belgium all the way to spain, in search of their first sexual experience. in spite of the synopsis, this is no american pie.

from a legless truck driver, they had found out about a spanish brothel catering to people like them and decide to trick their parents into giving them permission to take the trip by using their love of good wine as a pretext: the itinerary they present is a fine wine route, including famous french and spanish wineries.

of course, their plan falls through several times but somehow they get to that miraculous point where they enjoy the transformative power of travel: taken out of the groove that is their lives, everything suddenly becomes possible. they are free for the first time.

the trio is perfectly offset by their driver, a mysterious nurse who is unimpressed by their childish behaviour. finally, she is the one they need to make the whole thing happen.

i loved the performance of tom audenaert as jozef. brilliant! i also noticed lars’ little sister. very expressive, especially for a kid her age!

with lots of dark humour and lots of spirit, this refreshing film is not at all a manifest plea to accept our disabled peers, but, probably exactly because of that, it succeeds 100% in making the three characters likable and endearing. with very few errors, the story promises to show us sex but finally surprises us with love and its many faces. be prepared for warmth and finesse, for tears but also for many smiles.

PS: next monday, december the 3rd, it’s the international day of people with disability. you now know how to celebrate it.

photo credits: google search