Published Aug 06, 2009As far as contrived and romanticized fantasies involving the saintly disabled go, Adam proves a cut above the norm, mainly due to the thoughtful performances and chemistry between leads Rose Byrne and Hugh Dancy, and a resolution that dishes out a bit of realism without being awkwardly devastating. Perception may be skewed for those that live with Asperger's, as inevitably the film features some logistic shortcoming, but the issue is underplayed and handled respectfully.
With a light, folksy tone, Adam launches into a wish-fulfilling entanglement between the recently bereft Adam (Hugh Dancy) and his comely, but not without baggage, neighbour Beth (Rose Byrne). Initially, Beth finds intrigue in her neighbour's idiosyncrasies, as arguably, literal interpretations and a lack of discernment for sarcasm and irony seem refreshing. But of course, it comes with its challenges, one of which is Beth's disapproving criminal father (Peter Gallagher).
To the film's credit, Adam occasionally strains likeability and Beth plausibly loses patience with him. Their interaction and affections aren't exactly what one would call "realistic" but writer/director Max Mayer does his best to inject conflict before addressing the thorny question of "lover" or "caregiver"?
Unfortunately, for everything that Adam does right there is a requisite two-dimensional helping hand (Frankie Faison) and misperception about outsider insight to bog down a mostly amiable flick. One's appreciation for this affair will have much to do with their decision to overlook these slights, or dote on them.
While unlikely to inspire passion, acting as a passable bittersweet fancy, this New York love story is nothing to scoff at either, given that there is heart and thought amongst the many conveniences. Those looking for a diversion from the typical summer blockbuster roster should be pleased. (Fox)