Actually, it’s therapy. It’s therapy the three protagonists in Geoffrey Enthoven’s film are looking for. And it is actually baffling that no one else around them happens to see that. Not the parents, overprotective and naturally obsessed with maintaining the physical body, the tortured, handicapped body, present and “alive”. But the body isn’t really alive. The only thing alive in these three guys, just over 20 years young, is their spirits. And they are looking for a way out. A way to fly.
All they want is a pretty dream, the prettiest dream of all: for one night, to be a normal (albeit late) adolescent and know the beauty of lovemaking. Where? In a Spanish brothel specialized in disabled customers.
This is Enthoven’s heartwarming imagination. In Hasta la vista he tells the story of three disabled and wine-loving young men who want to break out of their gray, rainy Dutch routines, and escape. They want what most adolescents their age want: independence, a normal life and yes, they want SEX. So they break out on their own, with nothing but a laconic strong female nurse as their semi-legit driver in an old wrack of a van. But flying the coop is not so easy. Jozef, who’s as good as blind, Lars, who has a tumor and is fettered to his wheel-chair, and Philip, who is paralyzed from the neck down, are now out of their comfort zone, in an unknown and not so disabled-friendly environment, where humility is also part of the experience. But as the van dashes south along highways and ever-narrower roads the grey smog dissipates, the sun begins to shine and the stars sparkle in the sky at night when they camp in a French forest. As the colors intensify, so does their love, friendship and wisdom.
Without ever being mushy, Enthoven’s perspective is full of tenderness and understanding. In the end, they all get their wings, one way or another. A truly worthwhile (and funny!) road movie.