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2 reviews, 5 user ratings

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About Adam
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by iF Magazine

"A worthwhile adventure."
4 stars

ABOUT ADAM is a romantic comedy that is surpassingly unusual for what it doesn’t do. Generally speaking, when a film in this genre centers around multiple infidelities, there’s humiliation, a comeuppance and a resolution in which the injured party finds true love either with the repentant stray or a previously overlooked other prospect.

ABOUT ADAM bypasses all of these traditions to do something that is agreeably original, if ultimately vaguely unsatisfying in its tale of four Dublin siblings thrown into separate tailspins by the same young charmer.

Lucy Owen (Kate Hudson), the acknowledged beauty of the group, is in her early 20s but already has been playing the field long and wide when she meets Adam (Stuart Townsend). Adam is sweet, thoughtful, handsome and mysterious. He’s also marvelously patient, insisting that he wants Lucy to choose the time and place of their first tryst. Lucy finds herself becoming serious about a man and introduces Adam to her family. These include the eager-to-approve matriarch (Rosaleen Linehan), bookish intellectual Laura (Frances O’Connor), married Alice (Charlotte Bradley) and brother David (Alan Maher) who, for all his women relates, seems unable to gain insight into the female psyche. Adam, eager to ingratiate himself, has something for everyone. A bit of a chameleon, he can fine tune his personality to suit whomever he’s with, while gently wringing a change in his companion as well.

Director/writer Gerald Stembridge has a way with words in his dialogue and a gift for ambiguity that he arguably employs a bit too ardently toward the end. Although Adam is given a clarifying speech, it’s never entirely clear what he really wants out of the complicated situation he creates by romancing all three sisters (and semi-seducing David as well). We’re led to the conclusion we reach more by the omission of a heavy-handed moral than the inclusion of definitive clues.

Still, we have no doubt as to why Adam’s appeal is so widespread, and this is where the film succeeds best. The disparate elements he shows Lucy and each of her kin don’t clash, but rather seem logical parts of the same whole. This not only makes Adam real and dimensional but keeps the characters around him from seeming foolish – it makes sense that they believe Adam has hidden qualities that are brought out by others.

Townsend is a wonderful listener, conveying soul and mischief in his silent responses even more than his spoken ones. Hudson is vivacious and delightful – and proves herself a worthy singer - as well. O’Connor plays Laura’s repression partly for laughs but never overdoes it – she’s the essence of angrily bottled-up passion. All three do Irish accents (Townsend is English, Hudson is American and O’Connor is Australian) that fit in plausibly with the authentic voices of their co-workers. Bradley has a wry intelligence that’s appealing and Maher is a very funny Everyman who manages to surprise himself.

Stembridge has modestly lovely visuals, with dark interiors punctuated by colored glass and exteriors that emphasize dark blue along with the greens associated with Ireland, giving his film a lyrical look. ABOUT ADAM is playful and uncommon – it tantalizes us with a few too many loose threads, but it’s still a worthwhile adventure.-- Abbie Bernstein

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4425&reviewer=119
originally posted: 05/11/01 23:44:29
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User Comments

3/27/07 fools♫gold A pure thriller, and no one knows it. 5 stars
5/18/06 Annie G Enjoyable. Funny. Characters that you reluctantly really like. 4 stars
9/18/03 Charles Tatum Different and funny 5 stars
11/05/01 Monday Morning I respectfully submit that it bored the living shit out of me. 2 stars
9/21/01 Reini Urban Typical 80-ies french comedy. Very good. 4 stars
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  18-May-2001 (R)
  DVD: 04-Feb-2003

  30-Mar-2001 (15)

  31-May-2001 (M)

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