‘Adam’ Review

12 May

Adam

Starring: Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne

Director: Max Mayer

Adam is a romantic drama that isn’t exactly a romantic drama, but more a story of two people brought together randomly who happen to fall for one another. 

Hugh Dancy plays the title character and he happens to suffer from a form of autism, known as asperger’s syndrome.  After the death of his father, Adam finds himself living alone and struggling to adapt to a world that isn’t suited for the complicated life he leads. 

One day while doing laundry he comes into contact with a young woman, Beth (Rose Byrne), who is new to his apartment building.  She is kind to him even though she realizes something is a little off.  After a few run-ins, the couple strike up an odd friendship.  Eventually, Adam begins to feel romantically towards Beth and surprisingly she reciprocates his feelings.

Their relationship is not without complications though as Adam’s asperger’s threatens to drive a wedge between the two.  Knowing that he is uncomfortable in social situations, Beth arranges for Adam to “accidentally” run into her parents in an attempt to have the two parties meet.  Beth’s parents (Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving) are pleasant when they meet Adam, but are immediately aware that his behavior is not what they would consider to be normal.

Getting more serious by the day, the couple struggles to find a balance between their two different worlds.  Beth’s parents voice their disappointment in her choice of boyfriend and her father pressures her to move on.  Adam finds out that Beth had planned the meeting with her parents and he loses his temper.  He is unable to mentally comprehend why someone close to him would lie and he says hurtful things that cause Beth to leave.

This love story is beautiful because Beth is able to see past Adam’s disease and see him for the man he is.  She ignores the voices around her telling her that she can do better and she puts everything she has into this relationship.  I’m not a huge fan of Byrne’s.  I never feel much emotion from her as an actress, but I liked the character of Beth more than I cared for who played her.

Dancy was a revelation as Adam.  A handsome actor, not especially known for playing characters such as this, was amazing.  He threw himself into this role with such vigor and determination.  He gave a performance that was wrought with emotion and feeling.  I’m familiar with his work from films such as Evening, The Jane Austen Book Club and Confessions of a Shopaholic, so it was nice to see him tackle a more difficult role.

As a viewer, I rooted for this couple to make it.  I wanted to see the underdog get the girl and live a life he never dreamed possible.  Not giving away how the story ends, I thought the ending of the film was great and gave hope for anyone who might be suffering from this disease. 

This is a strong film with brave performances from the actors involved.  It’s films like this (smaller, low-budget) that I love because you get to watch raw moments and see the craft of acting at its best.

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