ADAM DVD Review

     February 19, 2010

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Max Mayer’s romantic drama that charmed audiences at Sundance last year about a man with Asperger syndrome is now on DVD.  Adam (Hugh Dancy), the titular character who suffers from an especially pronounced case of the developmental disorder, tries to find his footing in the world after the death of his father.  Meanwhile, his new neighbor Beth (Rose Byrne) takes a romantic interest in him despite his social dysfunction, and must come to grips with his innate inability to connect.  Adam is a remarkably touching film; see why it is worth your time and heart after the jump.

adam_movie_image_hugh_dancy__rose_byrne.jpgAmong many things, Adam is a very provocative film.  It begs a number of questions.  Tough questions.  Like to what extent is loving someone with a developmental disorder an act of love, and to what extent is it an act of charity?  Because as fascinating as our protagonist Adam is, Beth and her mentality are infinitely more interesting.  See, for her, Adam is a rebound boyfriend.  What’s worse, even though she is very understanding and accommodating of his limitations, she is selectively ignorant and stubborn as well.  In a way, she is a more complex character than he.

The bonus features are standard fare for a DVD.  There’s a director’s commentary track, there’s an alternate ending, there are deleted scenes, there are other trailers from Fox.  They even have one of those so-called “making of” featurettes that doesn’t tell you how the film was made at all; it’s just the actors waxing poetic about the narrative and themes of the film.

There is, however, an excerpt from Fox Movie Channel’s Life After Film School, a TV show in which film students ask questions to actors/screenwriters/filmmakers.  The excerpt included has a fairly interesting, albeit brief, interview with Rose Byrne.  It’s worth a viewing, but maybe isn’t the best selling point, particularly since that same interview is available on Hulu.

Ultimately, the only reason to buy the DVD is if you enjoyed the movie enough to own it, which is totally valid.  Still, most people can get by with just a rental.  But make no mistake, you should rent this movie.  It is touching, insightful, heart wrenching, and beautiful, on top of its sharp direction, stellar acting, and precise narrative.  Adam is the perfect addition to any respectable Netflix queue.

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