Adam

Hey guys, I’m trying a new format with a more generalized film review and typical film review (more expositional than personal). Please be sure to let me know what you think whether in facebook comments or the much preferred comment on my blog. I’m still toying around with finding a suitable voice and your help would be greatly appreciated!

Adam is a quiet film about a young man living with Asperger’s and the young woman he forms a bond with in his struggle to become independent. While it advertises itself as a romantic comedy/drama, don’t believe a word of its advertising. It’s much more human than that and to fall for the trailer just cheapens what is truly a more universal story. Don’t get me wrong, I fell for the trailer and enjoyed the movie, but as usual, the trailer offers a lowest common denominator interest and doesn’t really speak to the actual story.

At the heart of the movie is Adam, played by Hugh Dancy, and Beth, played by Rose Byrne. Dancy is familiar to the rom-com crowd for his work in such movies as Confessions of a Shopaholic, but Dancy shows that he’s not only got god looks, but charisma as well. Asperger’s, which is essentially a high-functioning Autism, carries with it the stigma of any mental affliction. Hollywood’s tendency is to gawk at those different or demonstrate them as objects of pity, but at no point is Adam reduced to such shallow dimensions. One of the beautiful things of the film is that the audience watches Adam learn and grow as time goes on, showing us how he used to be and how far he’s come. It’s inspiring to see a “different” character given this much depth in a world where it seems that most films about mental issues are simply Oscar bait. What Adam delivers is a sweet albeit complicated young man and the woman who loves him. This woman, of course, is Beth, a young school teacher who is new to the apartment building and finds herself intrigued by Adam’s eccentric behavior. Rose Byrne does a beautiful job with the character of Beth, managing to be sweet and still withdrawn, which makes for an interesting and somewhat atypical romantic interest.

When dealing with a film like Adam, it’s a bit like walking on eggshells. First and foremost, there are the tired stereotypes of the genre. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, when dealing with subject matter like Asperger’s, you have to be respectful to the issue. While Adam does at times fall back on stereotypes, at its heart, it has good intentions and endearing characters to guide it along. Much like Adam’s life, it seems to be a work in progress, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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