Posted by Matt Rosenberg on August 5, 2009 at 12:30 am
Ron Ashley is back to provide some insight on a new indie film he caught a couple days ago. The film is titled “Adam” and is a romantic comedy written and directed by Max Mayer. Starring Hugh Dancy, Peter Gallagher (from the ‘OC’ and Mr Deeds), Amy Irving, and Rose Byrne, the film is about a lonely man with Asperger’s Syndrome, Adam, who develops a relationship with his upstairs neighbor, Beth.
Ron Ashley’s review of “Adam”
At a relatively lean 99 minutes, writer/director Max Mayer’s film ADAM is quite charming. This romance and coming-of-age story takes place in New York, a fitting location given the story’s idiosyncratic nature. The current trend in smaller films involves setting one’s slightly off-beat romantic dramedy in a random place and giving at least one of the main characters a decisively unique profession, but this film does not follow a urinal cake salesman in South Dakota as he woos an unsuspecting displaced hipster chick.
Okay, fine, I’ll admit there’s a slightly off-beat tone, but the subject matter distinguishes this character piece from others. Our protagonist, Adam Raki (played by Hugh Dancy), has Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition most simply described as a very high-functioning form of autism. Adam is a brilliant young electrical engineer whose father just passed away. When Beth Buchwald (played by Rose Byrne), an aspiring children’s writer, moves into Adam’s building, he falls in love and in turn, tries to behave like a “normal“ boyfriend. Beth reciprocates these feelings and has to wrestle with the inherent complications of Adam’s condition while dealing with her wealthy accountant father’s indictment for fraud.
The performances truly carry this film. After all, it is a character piece, and the actors deliver. Hugh Dancy is definitely one to watch. His portrayal of this complex young man is captivating without being cheesy. It doesn’t hurt that he’s handsome as hell. Dancy has real star quality; odds are, we’ll be seeing a lot of him in the coming years. Rose Byrne certainly carried her weight. She’s beautiful and effortlessly charismatic. I hope to see more of her in the future.
Gotti ipod While markedly good, ADAM is not an instant classic. This doesn’t strike me as a film that moviegoers will talk about for generations. If put on the spot for a specific reason, I’d say this: the scope of the story is too small, in terms of both plot and character arc. To provide frames of reference, FORREST GUMP had a far more gripping plot, and RAIN MAN boasted more positive changes for both of its main characters. Against all odds, Adam’s life changed as a result of the valuable life lessons he learned, but Beth really just received an education on Asperger’s Syndrome. The sub-plot involving her father changed Beth’s life, but a serious change from her experience with Adam would have been more compelling.
Overall, you should check out ADAM if you believe in love. It’s worth the price of a movie ticket… plus Junior Mints, if you’re into that sort of thing. You might be more of a popcorn or Sour Patch Kids kinda person.
As always, keep bantering, or you will die slowly and painfully.“
Thanks for the good words Ron.