This has been a surprising summer for a number of reasons, one of which is how dreadfully dull most of the big popcorn films have been. The other is the extraordinary ability of a handful of tiny, independent films to redeem the season utterly. These films, from Away We Go, (500) Days of Summer and now Adam, are the antidote to the summer blight, delivering smart, hilarious, moving and cosmically life-affirming stories.
For the first time in his life, Adam (Hugh Dancy) is alone. With the recent passing of his father, the sweet-natured, 30-something Adam, who suffers from a developmental disorder called Asperger's syndrome—a form of autism that, among other things, severally hampers social interaction—suddenly realizes that his well-ordered life comes with an expiration date.
Though he frequently shuns human contact and escapes into his own world—one dominated by the knotty conundrums of astrophysics (there is a particularly nice bit with a space suit)—Adam finds himself unusually drawn to his new neighbor, Beth (Rose Byrne).
The cosmopolitan Beth is everything the sheltered Adam is not, and at first she is unsure how to react to Adam's stilted, clumsy and sometimes inappropriate overtures. But Beth sees something in Adam she has never found in any man before, and she allows herself—perhaps against her better judgment and most certainly against that of her caring but apprehensive parents (Peter Gallagher and Amy Irving)—to fall in love with the unconventional boy next door, drawing him out of his shell and changing both their lives forever.
Navigating the treacherous waters of romance is difficult enough in the most optimum conditions, let alone in a relationship beset by embarrassing social ...1