Adam (2009)

Rated PG-13. Our ratings: V- 2; L-1 ; S/N-3. Running Time: 1 hour 36 min.

And let us consider how to provoke one
another to love and good deeds
Hebrews 10:24

Beth talks with Adam on the steps of the apartment building.

2009 Fox Searchlight Pictures

In director Max Mayer’s film Adam (Hugh Dancy) is a brilliant young electronic engineer. He is good looking as well as bright, but his social skills are virtually nil because he suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, an af fliction a tad above autism. He stores boxes of All-Bran, macaroni and cheese, and other foods all together in a row for easy access. He possesses an abundant knowledge about the stars and other scientific subjects, and thinking that others are as obsessive about minutia, he unloads more facts than his hearers can handle, even were they interested. Then he meets Beth (Rose Byrne), and his life changes.

Beth has just moved into the apartment upstairs, and when they meet, Adam makes his usual faux pas, but she is drawn to him, especially when he shows her the stars projected onto the ceiling of his apartment by his home planetarium. As their relationship develops, there are some hunorous moments—such as when he tells Beth that he helps design toys, and she relies, “Are you an elf?” And there are some sad, poignant scenes such as when Adam is insensitive to Beth’s needs or when Adam is let go from his job; and most of all, when he goes to see Beth at the school where she teaches and someone calls the police on him because they are fearful that the lingering man.might be a child molester. This is a film that does not follow the usual plot line of the romantic genre, one well worth seeing and discussing.

For Reflection/Discussion

1. What do you know about Asperger’s syndrome? How is Adam similar to the main character in Rainman? How does the shot of Adam in the grave yard emphasize for us his loneliness?

2. How do Beth and his friend Harlan contribute to Adam’s development?

3. Where do you see grace—and God—in the film?

4. How do you see the characters provoking “another to love and good deeds “?