I can happily report that Max Mayer's Adam, Starring Rose Byrne (The Dead Girl, "Damages") and Hugh Dancy (Black Hawk Down, Blood and Chocolate) fit all three of those requirements and made for a most delightful trip to the movies on a rainy Sunday evening back when this film premiered.
Byrne plays Beth, a young writer/teacher who moves into a brownstone upstairs from Dancy's Adam, a high functioning autistic engineer who's been recently left parent-less. When they meet, Beth is intrigued by Adam's strange candidness and he in turn is smitten with her. Well, about as smitten as someone with Asperger's Syndrome can be smitten, anyway.
Beth struggles with whether or not she can really be in a relationship with Adam, as well as some family issues that arise with her parents (played by Peter Gallgher & Amy Irving) and he struggles with learning to be in a relationship, with the help of his father's old war buddy (played by Frankie Faison). What comes of it is truly a lovely glimpse into our collective struggle to find love & fullfilment, and also a keen lesson on improving human interactions & conversations.
Seems heavy, right? I swear it's not. At it's core, it's just another BOY MEETS GIRL love story that is really, truly moving. And the amount of adorably touching moments abound, but I've only listed three for you here...
Adorably Touching Moment #1: Adam dons a space suit in order to clean Beth's soot-covered windows so that she can see the stars at night.
Adorably Touching Moment #2: Adam's trek out to Westchester to find Beth... I can't say more or I'll ruin it for you!
Adorably Touching Moment #3: Seeing the finished product of Beth's book. I think I almost shed a tear when it was revealed.
The scene that resonated the most with me, however, was some advice that Beth's mother doled out as Beth was deciding if being with Adam- who is unable to share real emotions because of his autism- will be enough for her. Beth tells her mom, "He's never even said 'I love you.'" And her clever, clever mother counters with, "There's saying I love you, and then there's loving." COULD YOU JUST KISS MAYER FULL ON THE LIPS for that amazing bit of dialogue?
In a time when so many "love stories" (The Ugly Truth, Love Happens, etc) on film are just cookie-cutter formula-ridden drivel, it's so refreshing to see something like Adam- a fresh, new, unconventional and real, 3-dimensional look at love.
*smooches...dangerously close to believing in love*
Adam (2009). 99 min. Written and Directed by Max Mayer. Starring Rose Byrne, Hugh Dancy, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving and Frankie Faison.