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Movie Review: Adam

August 28, 2009
Who doesn’t like awkwardly adorable?!

By Renee

Picture 1I am that hard to please modern woman.  I long for funny romantic comedies that make me cry and emphasize with the characters and become enraged when force-fed the tired slush produced by the big Hollywood studios. I don’t WANT to see Katherine Heigl complain about how she can’t get a date, while trying to convince me that she’s a ball-busting career gal. I don’t WANT to see Alexis Bledel stumble through two and a half hours of bad plot and unconvincing acting. And when I am subjected to this sort of thing, I become grumpy, I try to make myself believe that I actually DON’T like romantic comedies and embarrassed by my secret love of them.  I am not alone in these feelings.  Which is why when a good romantic comedy comes along, such as Max Mayer’s Adam, I am reminded of what makes a good chick flick.

Adam presents the classic “boy-meets-girl” scenario, although in this case it’s more like “boy-with-socially-crippling-Asperger’s Syndrome-meets-girl”.  Adam’s unique perspective, of a young man with an unusual outlook on the world, breathes new life into this sometimes tired cinema genre.  Adam, played by hunky Hugh Dancy (The Jane Austen Book Club, Confessions of a Shopaholic) is a high functioning and brilliant autistic, who falls for his new neighbor Beth. Beth, played by Rose Byrne (Damages) an elementary school teacher and aspiring children’s author, immediately responds to Adam’s total honesty and unique sweetness.

As Dancy explains, “There’s no agenda to Adam, no dishonesty, no duplicity and he consistently says the things that we all wish we could say but are barred by social conventions.  I especially enjoyed the kind of strange courting he does of Beth.”

As a girl, I related to Beth’s attraction to a man who wouldn’t lie to her, who would in fact, be TOO honest about what he was thinking or feeling, who would listen to what she said and plan quirky surprises to make her world seem a little more magical.

In a way Adam and Beth seemed to be two sides of the same coin, each containing something the other one was lacking;  Adam with the ability to be completely honest, especially towards Beth’s parents, and Beth with the ability to read the social cues of the world.  And the wonderful thing about Adam is the depiction of Beth and Adam’s personal growth and the impact they had on each other’s life. As author Jonathan Carroll wrote,

We’re often wrong at predicting who or what will transform us. Encountering certain people, books, music, places or ideas… at just the right time can immediately make our lives happier, richer, more beautiful, resonant or meaningful. When it happens we feel a kind of instant love for them that is both deep and abiding.

I walked out of the theater, knowing in my bones that Adam, at it’s heart of hearts, was a story of just that kind of encounter. I was flooded with memories of the friends and lovers who had transformed my own life.  I found Adam to be extremely relatable, unexpectedly funny and touching.  Take your girlfriends, some tissues and go see this excellent romantic comedy, you won’t regret it.

Frothygirlz Rating 8.5/10


5 Responses to “ Movie Review: Adam ”

  1. Radge Bassart on August 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    A million kudos for the Jonathan Carroll quote. And now I want to see this movie.

  2. Renee on August 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I thought you might like that.

  3. Rebecca on August 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    So we’re not talking Dustin Hoffman’s Rainman meets Julia Roberts’ Shelby?

  4. Renee on August 30, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Shelby had diabetes, she wasn’t Autistic! (drink your juice shelby)

  5. Donna on August 30, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    The first time I heard of Asperger’s was in Boston Legal. I’ll see Adam when it comes to this area. Thanks for the great review.