About Adam

It's almost a good thing that About Adam comes out after Almost Famous, although it finished filming long before the latter. This gives audiences an additional chance to see Kate Hudson in action. Hudson is great, although About Adam is never as funny and clever as it thinks and/or hopes itself to be. Hudson has a convincing Irish accent, as does Australian co-star Frances O'Connor. About Adam is, oddly enough, about a man named Adam (Stuart Townsend, Wonderland, Simon Magus) who slowly insinuates himself into the hearts (and beds) of each sibling in an Irish family. Lucy (Hudson, Almost Famous, Dr. T and the Women), a waitress/singer meets him and instantly falls head over heels in love with him. To Lucy, Adam is different. He is quiet, listens, and is willing to let her set the boundaries on their relationship. He is near perfection to her. What she doesn't know is that her brothers and sisters feel the same way about him.

Director and writer Gerard Stembridge (Guiltrip) tells Lucy's side of the story before spinning back and telling the story from the perspective of each of her siblings (like Rashomon for teenagers). Adam goes about, in his quiet yet steady manner, seducing both of Lucy's sisters and her brother. Her frumpy bookish sister Laura (O'Connor, Mansfield Park, Bedazzled) becomes infatuated with Adam's ability to quote poetry and their mutual admiration of literature. Other sister Alice (Charlotte Brady, Smilla's Sense of Snow, Moll Flanders) likes Adam because he is willing to pay attention to her and give her affection, something her husband will not. Lucy's brother David (Alan Maher), much to his horror, finds himself attracted towards Adam when Adam tries to help him with his sex-shy girlfriend. Laura, Alice, and David keep Adam's moves to themselves, for Lucy's sake and so as not to embarrass themselves.

The wonder of Stembridge's script is that it is whimsical and lighthearted enough to allow the audience to view Adam as a nice guy, and not the testosterone-driven lothario and pathological liar he really is. He is the Donal Logue character from The Tao of Steve, except skinnier and much better looking. Unfortunately, he only has enough charisma to not look like a complete jerk. For the majority of the movie, his smile and deep gaze is enough to get everybody's heart aflutter, but this does not translate off the screen. Sure he looks cute, but cute enough to prompt people to go so far? Adam's purpose, in his own suave, subtle way, is to help each person. His interaction with each of them causes them to realize some epiphany, but most of the time this feels forced. Of the cast, Hudson and O'Connor are the most fun to watch. Hudson again is ebullient and brimming with joy, completely oblivious to what her siblings are doing. O'Connor is good, especially when her character becomes increasingly flustered. The David character is mildly amusing, and the Laura storyline is too labored to be effective. The humor in About Adam is smart enough to keep you smiling during the movie, but after, it fades quickly.

Mongoose Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 38 minutes, Rated R for language and sexuality.

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