Saturday, January 30, 2010

Asperger's, it's not a veggie

Adam (2009) is a movie about a man struggling with Asperger's syndrome, a disease a lot like autism, characterized by an inability to interact with other people. It's sad, living like that alone, in a big house, eating macaroni and cheese day after day. Adam (Hugh Dancy) is a genius, has excellent memory, and is fond of astronomy. You know, the science geek.

Suddenly a woman arrives and settles in the same building. Beth (Rose Byrne), a children's book writer and a preschool teacher, meets Adam while she does her laundry. She eventually becomes friends with him. At this point the viewer gets excited how the relationship develops. A touching scene is when Beth invites Adam for a housewarming party of sorts; Beth knocks on her door, while Adam stands shivering on the other side, making sure Beth doesn't hear him. He's afraid of people because he has no idea how to tell what they're saying, apart from what they're saying verbally. If, for instance, Adam were in an English class and the lesson was on idiomatic expressions, he'd definitely fail. He wouldn't know you want to be kissed until you tell him.

The point of the movie is to show whether Adam, a man pyschologically incapacitated, could live a normal life with Beth. The movie is typical but, thankfully, it isn't corny.

There were funny parts, too. Beth comes in to apologize and brings a box of chocolates after a misunderstanding. Adam responds, "I'm not Forest Gump, you know?" I love that line.

And this one, spoken by his old friend, was a standout, too: "Liars is (sic) all you're gonna come across in this world. A man has got to learn the difference just plain liars and liars worth loving."

The soundtrack is wonderful; I particularly loved the Joshua Radin song, Someone Else's Life.

The movie shows a different facet to the human existence; some people just can't get along with others. The ending is a bit rushed, and I could've wished it had continued longer.



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