The UHF of the film world.
Latest news

quietearth [Film Festival 06.13.09] movie review comedy drama romance

Year: 2009
Directors: Max Mayer
Writers: Max Mayer
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 8 out of 10

[Editor's note: So begins our Seattle International Film Festival coverage]

The bottom line: A pithy and fantastic tale of the underdog and his touching love story.

I walked into this one exhausted but was quickly perked up. The film was so engrossing I forgot the crowd around me which rarely happens and lost myself in the story of Adam, a man in his late twenties afflicted with Aspergers syndrome which makes him brilliant but socially inept. Complimented by his love interest Beth played by Rose Byrne, the whole film seemed remotely implausible and they surely took liberty with the possibilities, but no one cared.

The action starts off quickly. Adam lives with his father who dies right at the beginning of the film. His only remaining friend is Harlen (Frankie Faison), his fathers old army buddy. Things go from bad to worse but you wouldn't notice it as Adam's emotional connection with the world is muted at best. Then Beth moves into his building and the hilarity ensues, mostly from Adam's lack of understanding basic social etiquette.

Adam continuously rattles on about space or some other inane facts dually baffling and impressing those he comes into contact with. Since he's pretty much been confined to his apartment, his slowly growing world through Beth makes us love him (and her) all the more while simultaneously keeping the comedy flowing. Queue Adam washing Beth's windows in his NASA spacesuit. Her patience and understanding, even for his childlike behaviour is touching. But like I said, specious as some of it may seem, it worked perfectly, even with the Friends style upper class version of NYC, friendly folks, clean streets, and all.

I loved this flick, I highly recommend it, and one other thing. There's a a sentimental scene involving raccoons in Central Park, like these things weren't eating my trash the other night. Cute.

One of the producers was on hand for a Q&A afterwards and we learned a few interesting things. First off, writer/director Max heard a story of a young man with Aspergers on NPR while driving and pulled over, sobbing, and decided to write this film. It was privately financed as Hollywood passes on good films all the time and was made for under a million. And probably the most interesting of all is that the ending was reshot after it's premier at Sundance at Fox Searchlight's request. No, the ending doesn't suck.

You might also like

Leave a comment