I’m Excited About This Movie

August 5, 2009 at 5:00 pm (Asperger's Syndrome, Films, Rant)


In the past two weeks the New York Times has featured at least two different articles about the just-released film “Adam” starring Hugh Dancy, billed as an Aspie-NT love story. I gave it the old “askance glance” at first, having been irritated by certain other media portrayals of Aspergians.

boston-legal96I got hooked on Boston Legal through Netflix because I knew that in later seasons they introduced an Aspergian lawyer. I was not impressed when Jerry Espenson finally appeared. Perhaps he also has Tourette’s, but any Aspergian who has become a lawyer would have learned over the years to control odd hand and voice behaviors.

mary-mcdonnell-on-grey-thumbSame with Dr. Virginia Dixon, the heart specialist on Grey’s Anatomy. Any Aspie who could get through med school and land that job would have figured out how to accept a hug and not completely freak out. Asperger’s is not Kanner’s (I hope I did not just completely display my ignorance about Kanner’s since I don’t live with it.)

I DO live with Asperger’s, though, and neither of these characters seems anything like the Aspies I know and love.

However, the trailer for Adam seems a little truer, and (blushing boastfully) I gotta say my own personal Aspergian husband does have all the charm and good looks of Hugh Dancy.

So I have high hopes for “Adam.” It was an independent film, bought by Fox Searchlight for distribution nationwide, so that speaks well of its intent: not mass market. It won the Alfred P. Sloan Award at Sundance for its portrayal of science and scientists. And I liked Hugh Dancy in “The Jane Austen Book Club” as well as what I heard about his research for developing this character.

“Adam” has already opened in New York City. I will luckily get to see it in San Diego later this month. And it will finally arrive here Under the Rock of the more rural areas of the country on August 28.

If you see it, please comment!


  1. Linda said,

    I watched the trailer. Adam looks like a really sweet movie.

  2. sher said,

    Maureen – sounds great – I am looking forward to seeing it – another “adam” movie, though NOT aspie is Jeff Goldblums’s “Resurrecting Adam” which is due for netflix next month.

    I am in love with all things Jeff Goldblum, so I might be a tad biased.

    Your sister, Kathleen, is an angel sent to earth to help those in need of leverage. An angel.

  3. Eliza said,

    I’ll probably watch it, but not with my husband. I’m worried by the trailer showing the guy in the space suit that my husband will feel like he’s being lumped in with crazies and refuse to identify with having Asperger’s after that. I’ll see how it is in the movie before suggesting it to him.

  4. Liz in Virginia said,

    Hi, Maureen (I’ve missed you!) —

    I always felt that the Jerry character in Boston Legal was a little over the top, without knowing the specifics of Asperger’s myself. I think you’re right — he seems a little Tourette’s-ish to me too, maybe with a dash of OCD?. We have a family friend who is an attorney and who has an Asberger’s air about him (they have only recently begun to seriously pursue a diagnosis, more for their daughter than for the dad . . . interesting story that is not really mine to tell . . . ). You’re right — he would never have succeeded through college, a master’s program, a brief teaching career, law school, and on to becoming a partner in a small law practice — if he had not been able control some of his quirky ways of interacting with the world.

    Funny tangent — his kids know that if they are about to get busted for something — a lecture or some negative consequence for bad behavior is about to be pronounced — a sure-fire way to avoid the punishment is to ask, “Oh, Dad — I have been waiting to ask you! Now tell me again — what were the root causes of World War I?” He can’t help himself — he has to answer the question, and the kids are off the hook.

    And — I love Hugh Dancy!

    — xoxo

  5. Maureen said,

    Hiya Liz – (and Linda and Sher!)
    My kids do the same thing, Liz! Middle son Tristan actually caught one of these on tape. He and Elliot had Legos all over the floor and Andy came in in Tasmanian mode, so Tristan immediately asks him about some kind of obscure machining technique that was used to create a Lego gun, and Andy went on in great detail for about ten minutes, completely forgetting about yelling! Then Tristan played it back on the camera all day, laughing hysterically.
    I have that story in one of my essays – I’ll post that one next.
    Love ya! are you home? I’ll go check your blog and find out ….

  6. Liz in Virginia said,

    We’ve been home for about a day and a half — I still need to post about our stay in London . . . . I’ve had a migraine that is beating the crap out of me — I’ve only today come up for air.

  7. Abby said,

    I saw this trailer and I also look forward to seeing it. Like Eliza, I was a little put off by the astronaut suit though.

    It opened a couple of weeks ago, limited release. I haven’t seen it listed at our nearby theater, but it’s probably out there somewhere!

  8. Maureen said,

    Abby –
    I know what you mean about the space suit! I hope it doesn’t make him out to be gratuitously bizarre.
    On the other hand, I caught sight of my husband this morning out on his four-wheeler wearing an extremely bizarre safari hat and he looked so darn cute! I know he grabbed that hat for a strictly functional reason – to keep the rain off as much as him as possible – and it looks like Adam did the same. I know Andy had not a thought in the world to what he looked like, which I just love about him.

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