‘Adam’ — not your typical rom com

19 Apr

“Adam” is your traditional romantic comedy — with an Aspie twist.

New girl moves in, meets boy. Awkward flirtations ensue. Girl asks boy to be careful with heart. Meet the family. Meet the friends. The First Time. The Big Fight. The Big Reconciliation. And then … well, you’ll have to rent the flick for the “and then.”

Rose Byrne and Hugh Dancy play Beth and Adam. Why the space suit? He wore it to clean her windows, because she mentioned she couldn't see the stars for the soot.

What makes “Adam” different from every other rom com out there is that title character Adam has Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s is a mild form of autism. Adam is able to live a fully functional life in society, though the social awkwardness and fear is palpable and tender, especially in his relationship with Beth.

What struck me most about “Adam” is how obvious it made my own naiveté. Were I to fall in love with a man who had Asperger’s, I have little doubt how my friends would react: welcoming. My parents wouldn’t judge him. They might warn me of the obvious problems I might face should the two of us pursue a future, but they would not tell me I was better than him. My friends would not judge him.

This kind of understanding and acceptance is something, I think, I take for granted. Beth’s father judges Adam, and he judges Beth for her decision to pursue the relationship. Beth’s friends look at Adam funny, that awful and judgmental eyebrow raise. That Beth never tells off these “friends” is a point against her.

“Adam” is sweet. It’s not as sad as I expected. It’s heart-warming, and it’s thought-provoking. I hope you give it a rent.

Has anyone else see “Adam”? What’d you think of how his and Beth’s relationship is handled?

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