Adam Parent Guide
Powerful writing, good cinematography and a thoughtful script will push adult audience members to consider their own comfort level with various social and developmental issues.
Parent Movie Review
When Beth Buchwald (Rose Byrne) moves into an apartment in a NYC borough, she runs into her new neighbor Adam Raki (Hugh Dancy). Rebounding from a broken relationship, the elementary school teacher is intrigued by the handsome but quiet tenant who seems a little flustered when they first meet outside the door of the laundry room. It doesn’t take long for Beth to realize Adam is more than just uneasy around people.
The brilliant electronics engineer, who has an exhaustive understanding of the intricacies of space, doesn’t clue in and offer to help when she struggles up the steps of the stoop with some heavy packages. He stumbles over his efforts to make small talk and seems terrified at an invitation to join her and her friends for dinner. Only after an extremely uncomfortable encounter between the two neighbors does she discover Adam suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome.
Although he is able to perform highly specialized skills in the workplace and carry on with the basic responsibilities of home, his form of high functioning autism leaves him struggling with basic social interactions and the inconsistencies of life, especially after his father dies and leaves him alone.
Despite her parents’ (Amy Irving, Peter Gallagher) warnings, Beth warms up to Adam and gently pushes him beyond his comfort level while respecting his fears. Unfortunately as their relationship develops, the film delves periodically into the couple’s intimate interactions. Along with a brief scene in which Beth asks for sex, the movie shows the pair in bed on several occasions and includes innuendo and discussions. Unable to understand what another person is feeling or thinking, Adam openly questions Beth about sexual arousal as he tries to make sense of the subtleties of romance and physical excitement.
Still, the test of their deepening friendship comes when Adam faces another challenging setback. Meanwhile, Beth’s life is reeling as she deals with her own collection of heartbreaking issues. The strain forces them to examine their own needs and expectations for the future.
Handing in an Oscar-worthy performance, Hugh Dancy (known for his romantic roles in Confessions of a Shopaholic, Ella Enchanted and The Jane Austen’s Book Club) loses himself completely in the character of Adam Raki. Taking on both the physical and developmental characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome, Dancy gives an honest and believable presence to his character.
The theme of this film and some brief strong language (two uses of a strong sexual expletive are uttered during an intense argument) make this story unsuitable for younger teens and children. However, powerful writing, good cinematography and a thoughtful script will push adult audience members to consider their own comfort level with various social and developmental issues.Starring Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving, Frankie Faison.. Running time: 99 minutes. Theatrical release August 25, 2009. Updated July 25, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is Adam rated PG-13? Adam is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic material, sexual content and language.
Adam’s inability to understand social cues or the nuances of language makes for many awkward moments, particularly when Adam asks Beth about her level of sexual excitement. The character also reacts intensely during difficult moments of angst following the loss of his father and other challenging changes in his life. At one point, he hits his head against a mirror and breaks it, causing personal injury. A couple kisses, is shown in bed together and later begins to engage in sexual activity (seen briefly with no nudity). A man admits to a past affair. A woman appears to be inebriated while drinking champagne from a bottle in a public park. Adults are shown drinking in social settings. Characters yell, throw things, push one another and argue on at least two occasions. A character is accused of committing crimes and appears in court. One scene depicts and discusses the social acceptance of homosexual couples adopting foreign babies, followers of the Islamic religion and other groups in comparison to those suffering from developmental or mental challenges. The script contains at least two uses of a strong sexual expletive in a non-sexual context, infrequent profanities and crude slang terms.
Page last updated July 25, 2016
More parents' guide for Adam after the break...
Adam Parents' Guide
What challenges does Beth face as she develops a relationship with Adam? What things will she have to be willing to overlook or deal with on a regular basis? How does her love and acceptance of Adam change him?
What concerns do her parents have? Are these realistic? How can our expectations of others, including people with developmental, physical or mental challenges, either limit or enhance the lives of those individuals?
The most recent home video release of Adam movie is February 2, 2010. Here are some details…
Release Date: 2 February 2010
Adam arrives in DVD with the following bonus materials:
- Commentary by Writer/Director Max Mayer and Producer Leslie Urdang
- Deleted Scenes and Alternate Scenes
- Featurette: Creating ADAM - Behind the Scenes
- FOX Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School with Rose Byrne
Related home video titles:
The challenges of mental illness are also examined in the movies like: A Beautiful Mind (based upon the true story of a mathematical genius with paranoid schizophrenia), The Soloist (about the unexpected friendship between a struggling journalist and a homeless musician) and Lars and the Real Girl (where a young man falls in love with a life-like doll he found on an adult website|much to the distress of his family).