Saturday, March 12, 2011

About Adam (2000) [R] ****

Lucy Owens (Kate Hudson) works as a waitress and singer in a local pub in Dublin, Ireland. She's the youngest of four, with two sisters and a brother. Lucy is pretty, fun-loving, lighthearted, and a heartbreaker. One evening, as she's singing, Lucy sees a new face in the pub - Adam (Stuart Townsend). She suggests an entree and wine, and then asks him out. In no time Adam meets her whole family, and, before we know it, Lucy asks him to marry her, and Adam says yes.

Then, curiously, we see the story retold, but this time from the perspective of Lucy's sisters, Laura and Alice. Laura (Frances O'Connor) is sensitive and romantic; she's dissatisfied with her M.A. thesis in Victorian literature. Alice (Charlotte Bradley) is sensual and voluptuous; she's dissatisfied with her life as a wife and mother.

Adam senses their dissatisfaction, understands what each one needs and responds accordingly. Around Laura, he's shy, tactless and tongue-tied, unable to express his desire for her. Around Alice, he's earthy and direct, telling her how gorgeous she is, and how much he wants her. This is what Laura and Alice need to hear and each one opens up to Adam; before long he is involved in secret love affairs with both sisters. When Alice expresses her fear that he'll be unfaithful to Lucy, Adam explains to her that when he's with people, listening to them, he notices that they always want something from him. He really likes it, and he likes to give people what they want - to make them happy, if he can. Adam doesn't actually reassure Alice, however, and we're left wondering if Lucy realizes what she is getting herself into.

The film's concept is well executed, with a great screenplay and direction. The cast is excellent, and Townsend has terrific chemistry with all three sisters, especially O'Connor and Bradley. If you enjoyed AlfieDon Juan DeMarco and What Women Want, then I predict you'll really enjoy About Adam. 

Labels: comedy, romance

Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 64/100
Tomatometer (critics=68, viewers=47)

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