- Director:Max Mayer
- Cast:Rose Byrne, Hugh Dancy, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving
- Release Date:August 20, 2009
- Distributor:20th Century Fox
- Running time:99 minutes
- Film Worth:$8.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Though featuring superb performances and a poignant message that’s delivered subtly, Adam fails to lift itself above plain watchability.
There are fine performances and a touch of magic in this sweet-but-not-syrupy romantic comedy-drama. But there's also something lacking - that spark that would lift it from being a watchable movie into a great one.
Adam (Hugh Dancy) is a New Yorker living with Asperger's Syndrome (similar to autism), who's just lost his chief champion and protector, his father. He may have a brilliant scientific mind, but Adam's a lost soul who doesn't know how to navigate through the cultural mores of a rigid society. Adam says what he thinks whether it's socially acceptable or not, which generates much of the gentle humour that underpins this film. When he falls for his new neighbour, Beth (Rose Byrne), a teacher and children's book author, the rules of the courtship game leave him - and Beth - fumbling.
Despite the workmanlike cinematography and lacklustre script, the performances shine through. The always lovely Byrne is superb, while Dancy delivers a nuanced, restrained performance, which is quite a revelation after his underwhelming outing in the empty rom-com Confessions Of A Shopaholic.
There are a couple of sequences that show what this film could have been, like when Adam ingeniously turns his apartment into a makeshift planetarium for Beth, or when the pair go raccoon-spotting at night in Central Park. The dramatic climax is skillfully handled by writer/director Max Mayer (who's worked mainly in TV, on The West Wing and Family Law). As Beth's parents, Amy Irving and Peter Gallagher are well cast, and a vaguely interesting subplot involving Beth's dad's potentially shady financial dealings is worked seamlessly into the main storyline.
Adam is about loving someone who's different, despite what your parents or friends may think. It's also unfortunately a won't-change-your-life cinema experience that, irrespective of its redeeming features, fails to satiate.