Monday, December 06, 2010

a review of the movie “adam”.

Scott and I watched the Fox Searchlight film “Adam” this weekend. We debated renting it for months. Do we really need to see a movie about Autism? We live it every day. Wouldn’t seeing yet another story of Autism being played out for the sake of entertainment be a form of cruel and unusual punishment for parents who have a permanent home on this roller coaster. For whatever reason I rolled the dice and rented the movie. We let it sit on top of our dvd player for an entire week. I guess neither of us were sure we were up for it.

Practicality won out and on the day the movie was due back, we watched it. Scott teared up within minutes. I felt my heart strings get tugged in twenty different directions. You can’t help but compare the main character to “your person” with Autism. The main character, Adam, is said to have Aspergers (a high functioning form of Autism). As I watched his daily struggle, the things that he did to cope with this world, I felt mixed emotions. His reaction to his father dying was hard to watch. Observing him living alone, glued to his same routines day in and day out, was hard to watch. But there is hope infused throughout the movie as well. I don’t know if I buy the romantic relationship plot. The idea that someone would be so patient with and dedicated to someone they don’t have a genetic tie with is hard to buy. I hope and dream that Max will reach a point where he can know love and be able to experience a romantic relationship. I am not sure that is a realistic thing to expect though.

The parts that rang true were Adam’s love of being out in nature. Him taking everything 100% literally. Him not being able to handle change. His black and white perspective. His candor and honesty. Most of all, how hard he worked to understand NTs. That’s neurotypicals, for all you folks who don’t live in the spectrum world. The part where he bangs his head on the mirror out of frustration broke my heart as this is something I can see Max doing. And when he has the meltdown when he finds out his girlfriend has “lied” to him, and he scares her, that hit home a million times over. As Max grows bigger and stronger, I worry about how I will be able to manage him once he towers over me. Most of all, I worry about what would happen to Max if Scott and I were not here to care for him.

Would I recommend this movie? Sure. It’s pretty good. If you want to see an even better movie, a more realistic movie, I’d recommend the Temple Grandin movie starring Claire Danes. If you want to know what a person with Autism is really like, you should probably just go spend some time with a person on the spectrum.  Seriously, come on over.  But bring me a coffee, would you?


  1. Anonymous7:02 a.m.

    I remember, I was furious at my book club for choosing "Look Me in the Eye" the year my son was diagnosed with Asperger's. They just had no idea how brutally painful if would be to read about all of my first fears and realities. I'm still pissed about it actually. Salt in the wound.

    Not sure how I feel about you guys watching this...I think you have enough real spectrum pain to add some for entertainment/educational purposes. Of course, having said that, I'm glad I read that damn book, in hindsight. And as for your fears, just like my Sam, you know Max will always keep on surprising you, for the better. Keep the hope babe. Love to you and Scott, as always.
    A. xo

  2. awww, I am a sucker for love plots. Seriously. Completely agree with all the bits you said - I tried to be offended by him getting a job at stereotyping autism as nerdy, because lets face it, most of the spectrum population I know are not even close. But I couldn't not be touched by Adam's struggle (especially the part where he is seemingly oblivious to the problems of others, when in fact he cares so much about them) and what a good acting job everyone did in this movie - not to mention he is so cute :D

    Oh and the bit where he is watching the kids play and the police come - that broke my heart really it did. Totally can see Khaled getting arrested over something completely innocent.