I'd been wanting to see Adam for a long time but somehow I missed it at the movies. Last night, I finally got to sit down and watch it with my wife.
Adam is a romantic drama about a couple in which the male, Adam has aspergers syndrome. Aspergers is specifically mentioned and described in the screenplay and the film makes a very good attempt to show what life could be like for a person with aspergers.
Adam's special interest topic; space, is up there front and centre but his other obsessive behaviour, while hinted at, is generally given a back seat in the story. It's clear that he eats the same meals every day and that he likes to have things lined up but the film doesn't dwell on it. The film also shows some literal interpretations and communications difficulties but again it doesn't dwell. Finally, there's a meltdown shown - again, the film doesn't dwell but moves on with the story.
I think that the fact that the film skirts around the issues rather than dwelling on them is good. It could have been a comedy of quirks but director Max Mayer has wisely kept the focus on the relationship rather than the oddities. As such, there is a lot of heart and realism to the film.
The film begins at Adam's father's funeral (his last surviving parent) and it looks at the difficulties that people with aspergers encounter when trying to become independent. Along the way, we are introduced to Harlan, his mentor and in the course of the film we see just how important it is for aspies to have a mentor.
The film looks at Adam's black and white interpretation of events and the struggle he has to make himself seen and heard. It also looks at things from the other side of the relationship through the eyes of his somewhat too understanding girlfriend.
The accuracy of Hugh Dancy's portrayal as Adam is astonishing, though there were still a few things that my wife and I felt were a little un-aspie. In particular, Adam initiated the first kiss and chose an appropriate moment - this could have been pure luck but it was a fairly un-aspie moment. There are a couple of other places where this sort of thing happens but I won't spoil them for you.
My wife was also not too pleased with the film's abrupt ending but I felt it was more "true to life".
I was expecting a comedy but while there are some funny moments, Adam is first and foremost a drama. It's a film for everyone but especially it's a film for aspies and the neurotypicals who love them.
Adam can be purchased on Amazon;
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