In regular terms, Summer means heat, humidity, a rapid desire to remain indoors or at the very least pool or beachside. In film terms, Summer usually means a bad case of the film blockbusters. It actually is a great marketing ploy. Winter is a more serious season, it’s cold out and the freezing wind forces a bit of us all to take things less flippantly than we do in the boisterous Summer. But with each passing year, the idea of splitting films up by seasons based on their depth gets to be a bit monotonous. Just because it is Summer, doesn’t mean we as audienes want to shut our brains off completely to all plots and well-built characters. And finally, some film studios are catching on and saying “you don’t have to.”
Just one is Fox Searchlight with their new film that they picked up at Sundance this January simply titled “Adam,” starring Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne. The film was written and directed by Max Mayer who is receiving praise for his charming and endearing love story. The tale is unique as it points out the value of love even in places you might not take a chance to look. Adam, played by Dancy, is a grown man with Asperger’s syndrome who is just having to figure out what living alone in this world entails after his father passes and he is let go from his job. Beth is a young teacher and aspiring writer who has just moved into the apartment above Adam’s and quickly forms an attachment to him.
The normal equation for something like this would involve comedic hijinks and a moment of distance between the two lovers followed by a nicely wrapped ending. “Adam” does not adhere to the equation. Instead it illustrates what reality looks like. But sure, perhaps with a pinch of a bow on top.
Dancy gives an outstanding performance, second only to his given in Beyond The Gates. Just by entering the shot, audiences have a warm feeling and a beaming smile on their faces. Byrne is also heralded with her performance of a self-absorbed young woman who has to learn to tear away at the easy life she had been given throughout her life after meeting and caring for Adam. I think the most honest scene in the film is towards the end, in a phone conversation between Beth and her mother (played by Amy Irving). Beth is afraid to move across the country for Adam, it is a large enough commitment for any relationship but tripled in force due to the additional complications of their own, and Mrs. Buchwald tells Beth that it is not about being loved that is important, but in loving. Simple enough, but it seems such a distant concept for so many people.
All in all, Adam is a charming film and worth a trip to the theatres this Summer.