January 2, 2010

Adam (2009)

 Rose Byrne and Hugh Dancy in Adam.

AdamIn Adam, Hugh Dancy plays a 29-year-old with Asperger's syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism. Highly intelligent but unable to comprehend other people's emotional states (this extends to sarcasm, jokes, facial expressions), he lives an ordered and solitary life. When Beth (the delicately beautiful Rose Byrne), a schoolteacher and children's book author, moves into his apartment building, they strike up a tentative relationship that is born out of equal parts attraction, loneliness, and neediness. Writer/director Max Mayer treads carefully, bringing comedy, romance, and a coming-of-age story together while establishing a portrayal of Asperger's that is both illuminating for the neurotypicals (NTs, meaning "normal" people) and respectful of Aspies (as those with Asperger's call themselves). Some may find the film too timid, but both Dancy and Byrne bring an emotional honesty and underlying sweetness that saves the film from being bogged down by its good intentions.

Adam shows off his knowledge of astronomy to Beth.

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