DVD Review Adam
Directed by: Max Mayer Cast: Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving, Frankie Faison Running Time: 1 hr 38 mins Rating: PG-13 Due Out: February 4, 2010
PLOT: The story of a man with Asperger’s syndrome (Dancy) and the relationship he has with his school-teacher neighbor (Byrne).
WHO'S IT FOR?: Romantics of all tastes for movies could be touched by Adam's certain charm, but those accustomed to independent romantic comedies and remembering to return their Netflix DVDs punctually would enjoy this film the most.
An accomplished performance from Hugh Dancy (earlier known as the accented heartthrob from Confessions of a Shopaholic) is at the heart of Adam, a little romantic comedy that offers food for thought about really understanding those who operate slightly different than ourselves. His portrayal of a man with Asperger’s syndrome is brave and enduring, and the film itself does not hit the audience over the head with his character traits that one could certainly argue are unusual to stories about love. At times we are too uncertain of whether Adam’s Asperger’s are the reasoning for his social dilemmas, or if he’s just working in the same selfish way that all men tend to do.
The film as a whole educates its audience about the syndrome without condescending to either the audience or the character. But while treading such water swiftly, it forgets to offer its interested viewers a touching relationship with enough truly special moments, and becomes more informative than emotional. It is nice meeting Adam, but even with such a unique occasion we don’t remember much in our hearts.
MOVIE SCORE: 5/10
Fox Movie Channel presents Life After Film School with Rose Byrne - Three students sit down with the lead actress of Adam and discuss her motivations to joining the project, what it's like to work with a director who has experience in theatre, and how she is able to cry on cue.
Alternate ending with optional commentary by writer/director Max Mayer - There's only a minute difference between this conclusion and the one used in the final product. Mayer does not have much to say about the ending that was earlier used at Sundance. Considering that this finale changes how the long distance relationship between Adam and Beth would be presented, this is a bit of a disappointment.
Creating Adam - A lot of emphasis is put on acting, and its the only time that the actor behind the title character speaks on this DVD on what such a unique film role was like. Not so much behind the scenes as it is behind the performances.
Commentary by writer/director Max Mayer and producer Leslie Urdang Trailers
EXTRAS SCORE: 6/10
A small movie like Adam does not need a grandiose set of extras to compliment its main event, but when a film revolves around an actor's performance with such a dedication, you'd expect the special features to follow suit. It's puzzling as to why the "Life After Film School" segment does not involve Dancy, or even writer/director Max Mayer. Most of the "educational" aspects are covered by the story itself, but an extra featuring a more scientific discussion about Asperger's would have been certainly welcome.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10