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Adam

Year: 2009
Production Co: Olympus Pictures
Studio: Fox Searchlight
Director: Max Mayer
Writer: Max Mayer
Cast: Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving

That great Hollywood institution, the issues movie, is ably handled here. It's not the autism movie, it's the Asperger's syndrome movie.

Adam is a young man bereft after the death of his father. He's a good kid, a bit strange in ways you can't quite put your finger on, and he takes a quiet, shy liking to his new neighbour (Byrne, looking lovelier than she ever has and going some way to erasing the huge black blot of Knowing from her resumé).

It's when he asks her in a very confronting fashion if she's as sexually excited as he is that you sense what's wrong, and he has no choice but to come clean with her. He isn't quite at the stage where he needs to be institutionalised, but life isn't easy, especially now he's on his own.

The pair embark on a hesitant relationship and the pendulum swings both ways. their love only truly stays on the rails when they're alone together, the world just a little too complicated for Adam to navigate.

The films deserves a big tick for not ending in the expected way with rides off into the sunset. Instead it's handled like the rest of the film – realistically but with a touch of romance.

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