Thursday, August 13, 2009


"Adam" is a small film directed by Max Mayer, who hasn't done much work. I believe he's been professionally quiet because he was agonizing about "Adam," as he was the writer and director (painful and thankless to do both jobs, I would think). It felt like a well thought-out movie, very painstakingly assembled.

Hugh Dancy plays Adam and Rose Byrne plays Beth. They meet by chance, when Beth moves into Adam's building. There's something in the interaction between the two, even from the very beginning, that's a little strange and very intriguing (to me, anyway). That's the entire basic premise- seems so easy and potentially comical.

Not to give too much away, but Adam has some issues. Beth has some issues. They both aren't sure exactly what they need or want, but know that they want their paths to cross. I found it refreshing and so nice that there were no games, no acts of pretense. They're both very honest, though the extent of Adam's honesty could almost be viewed as a fault.

The unfolding of their relationship and the gradual getting-to-know-you that these two go through is quiet and soft, but important and almost scary. It seems like they both know their lives will change just from knowing one another, and the audience can just about taste the significance and the strain that the characters feel.

While the movie is intense, it doesn't try to shove its point down the audience's throats and it doesn't hammer certain opinions over and over again, which it could easily have done. It's not overly saccharine. It's not overly pessimistic. It's not overly optimistic. I felt it was realistic, that the story could have really happened just as it was laid out.

The editing was very clever, though I thought the inter-cutting scenes were over-abundant. The lack of color, the drabness, the lighting, the pacing; all lent themselves well to the overall impression. The one thing that felt overdone was the music. I know indie films love their soundtracks and love using songs for emotional impact ... but please don't beat me over the head with it.

Another sticky point for me was probably something that I'm just overly sensitive to. Hugh Dancy is an Englishman and Rose Byrne is an Aussie. I'm perfectly fine listening to English or Australian accents- prefer them to American accents, really. But their characters are supposed to be American. New York Americans.

I know I could never master an English accent or an Australian accent, so kudos to them for trying and mostly succeeding. If only they were able to completely succeed, though. I had a hard time every so often when a decidedly un-American vowel slipped in, and that kind of thing takes me out of the story immediately. Particularly Hugh Dancy, who played Adam so well otherwise, had a tough time with the Yankee-speak.

Overall, a lovely movie. I would actually like to see it again, to see what I missed the first time around. It was so unexpected- I didn't read anything about it, I didn't hear anything about it, and it's a small enough film to fly just under the radar.

Still worth the time to seek it out and watch it if possible, which I may try to do again before the very few reels leave this city.