Adam’s trailer does the film a great disservice. It simplifies the film to an almost unforgivable degree: “look at these two star-crossed lovers! Aren’t they precious?” That’s why, upon actually seeing Adam, it is such a delight to see that the film is not as insufferable as previews would make it seem. In fact, Adam is quite sweet – a look at the romance between two New Yorkers, one of whom has Asperger’s Syndrome.
The success of the movie is due in large part to its star, Hugh Dancy. While many actors play disabled characters with an Oscar in mind, no such motive is evident in his performance. His Adam – eccentric, towering, and tic-ridden – is a testament to his talent as an actor and proves that Dancy deserves to be known for more than trash like Evening and Confessions Of A Shopaholic.
His foil is Rose Byrne, whose Beth is both bewildered and intrigued by the prospect of dating Adam. Byrne is competent enough in the role, though her wide-eyed take becomes grating by the end. Peter Gallagher and Amy Irving portray Beth’s parents, and their subplot, though seemingly disjointed at first, injects Adam with alternate hits of pathos and humor.
Adam is short, sad, and engaging without being saccharine or a public service announcement about Asperger’s. It’s not as meaningful as it thinks it is, though it remains a surprisingly worthy film.
Rating: 2.5/4 stars
Starring: Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne
Directed by: Max Mayer
MPAA Rating: PG-13