Sunday, August 16, 2009

"I'm not Forrest Gump, you know."

Yesterday afternoon I finally saw Adam, starring Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne as awkward new lovers trying to undertake a relationship with the added burdens of her father's impending trial -- and Adam's struggles with Asberger's Syndrome. It is a very simple and believable story. Dancy is genuine in his portrayal of a lonely man who loves his beautiful new neighbor, but for whom love is something different than it is for her. And Byrne as Beth is gently sweet to him, sensitive to his needs without being patronizing, and bearing the crosses in her life as gracefully as she can.

The sweetest surprise about this movie is how much it resonates with almost every relationship people get into even without having social disorders. Adam and Beth can never quite tell what the other is thinking or feeling, and sometimes misinterpret each other's good intentions. But they are driven by wanting to feel loved and appreciated, and wanting to give love. The backdrop of Beth's family troubles is an appropriate foil to the journey our leads are going on.

Some scenes in the movie are difficult to watch, when Adam's struggles with the people around him lead to frustrated outbursts, so anyone who can't bear watching Arrested Development or Curb because of the awkwardness should definitely avoid this movie. Overall, it is an impressive little love story with a satisfying ending and even-handed storytelling. Plus, the leads are really attractive, and who doesn't like looking at pretty people?

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