Eye For Film >> Movies >> About Adam (2001) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Adam has a natural talent. He knows how to please. It is a talent he tries not to abuse.
If this had been written by a woman, instead of Gerard Stembridge, it would have been more critical. If he was an American, it might have disintegrated into farce.
How can you make a philandering love cheat, who works his way through a family of sisters, anything but a rogue and a rat? He's thinking of them, he says, he is giving them what they need. He is an angel in disguise.
Feminists will find this hard to take. Girls have more self-respect than to be practiced upon by a sexual athlete. In Dublin, where charm grows on trees, joy matters more than blame.
Lucy (Kate Hudson) takes one look at Adam (Stuart Townsend) and goes gooey at the knees. Being impulsive, she comes over all fluttery and asks for a date. Within days, they are in each other's beds and her mother thinks he's gorgeous.
Laura (Frances O'Connor), the middle sister, is writing a thesis on Victorian romantic novelists. She is so wound up with repressed emotional tension, men are scared off. Not Adam.
He talks to her on a level where passion can naturally find expression and within days, it does. Alice (Charlotte Bradley), the eldest, is married to a bore, who drinks too much and has the sensitivity of a bank statement.
Adam is attracted by her ironic sense of humour and sophistication and knows, without being told, that what she is crying out for is personal attention.
Stembridge's technique of telling the story from each sister's viewpoint, one after the other, using a voice-over thought narrative, takes time to get used to, although the Rashamon-style seen repeats work wonderfully. The film is sexy and non-judgmental, charming and slight. Dublin has never looked so fresh. Hudson does Goldie Hawn with an Irish accent and a great singing voice.
O'Connor is transformed into a woman of desire and Bradley's seductive beauty is a revelation.
Adam is not the villain of the piece.
In a way, he is the hero. Townsend enjoys the privilege of his position, without showing off about it.Reviewed on: 30 Mar 2001