Decent Films Mail > Mailbag #16

Re: Adam (2009)

Thank you so very much for reviewing Adam! My therapist had mentioned it during a session, but she couldn’t remember the title, and while I was going to search for more information about it, I was royally distracted by a summer full of personal crises. I was diagnosed with mild AS six years ago, and thus I tend to have an eye open for movies, etc. about people with this condition. It sounds like this is one of the better, if flawed portrayals, but there again, this is a condition that is very difficult for an actor to recreate: it’s very complex, and my mother has said that it makes my behavior and reactions to things around me near to impossible to predict.

The point you made about one of the flaws in the movie, re: showing the emotional maturity of people AS, was well-put. A lot of us are deceptively child-like in our personalities, while others are wise beyond our years. I’ve been told I’m incongruously both.

Hugh Dancy is very persuasive as an Aspie in Adam; at least, he seems persuasive to me, and I’ve read a couple of online reviews by Aspies who thought he nailed it. (I didn’t bring my Aspie daughter, who’s not yet fifteen and would be troubled by the nonmarital sex.)

I think “incongruously both” is a common impression. Aspies often struggle with skills and insights that their peers mastered long ago, but they often also relate better at a young age to adults than to their peers, and can be quite sophisticated in their thinking. I would have liked to see more of that in Adam, not just mastery of facts.

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