It’s a romantic comedy with a quirk. Adam (Hugh Dancy) has Asperger’s syndrome, a higher-functioning level of autism that makes social interactions difficult. Lucky for him he?s handsome enough that his new neighbor (Rose Byrne) falls for him anyway. What follows is mostly standard romantic comedy stuff, with boy and girl feeling each other out, except Adam has trouble with figurative language and implied speech. The movie works on a low-key cuteness as it hits all the conventional plot destinations, but then it charts its own path for an ending. I give credit to writer/director Max Mayer for bucking formula and following his convictions, refusing to tie everything together so easily. With that said, the Asperger’s portrayal seems to go into an extreme, Rain Man-level of social disability. Adam is crippled with fear even to leave his home; he is a slave to routine. Dancy is a sympathetic lead, though he’s overly reliant on his character’s quirks. Adam isn’t a freak or some delicate flower needing to be protected from the rigors of reality, and I think the movie would have benefited from a broader look at Adam’s ongoing lifelong struggle with his brain. Mostly, audiences are served up a sweet if somewhat plain romance with an extra dash of eccentricity, but not enough to rock any rom-com sensibilities. It’s a non-threatening alternative to the genre.
Nate’s Grade: B