Adam (2009)

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


About natezoebl

One man. Many movies. I am a cinephile (which spell-check suggests should really be "epinephine"). I was told that a passion for movies was in his blood since I was conceived at a movie convention. While scientifically questionable, I do remember a childhood where I would wake up Saturday mornings, bounce on my parents' bed, and watch Siskel and Ebert's syndicated TV show. That doesn't seem normal. At age 17, I began writing movie reviews and have been unable to stop ever since. I was the co-founder and chief editor at (2007-2014) and now write freelance. I have over 1400 written film reviews to my name and counting. I am also a proud member of the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA) since 2012. In my (dwindling) free time, I like to write uncontrollably. I wrote a theatrical genre mash-up adaptation titled "Our Town... Attacked by Zombies" that was staged at my alma mater, Capital University in the fall of 2010 with minimal causalities and zero lawsuits. I have also written or co-written sixteen screenplays and pilots, with one of those scripts reviewed on industry blog Script Shadow. Thanks to the positive exposure, I am now also dipping my toes into the very industry I've been obsessed over since I was yea-high to whatever people are yea-high to in comparisons.

Posted on December 10, 2009, in 2009 Movies and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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