Monday, September 14, 2009

Movie Review---the new "Asperger movie" Adam

Have any of you heard of this movie? It was released around August, but it is more one of those "film society" movies, so it isn't in all the theaters. It is about a guy who has Asperger's whose father dies and leaves him to live alone in an apartment. A girl moves in next door and they develop a relationship with all sorts of ups and downs while she is trying to figure him out.

Well, I had looked forward to seeing this movie and taking my cute Aspie husband to see it as well. I had seen several previews and I thought it might be an interesting and funny movie for us both.

First off when getting into the movie I felt kind of bad or even guilty for taking my husband to such a movie because the actor portraying the man with Asperger's was a little bit too "childish" or something. Not exactly, but it's like he talked almost babyish or like someone who you would look at and obviously think had some kind of mental issues. I didn't want my husband to think I thought he was like this guy. Not that there was anything wrong with him, but it just seemed a little too much. It seemed to get better as the movie went on, but it almost upset me to think people might go into this movie and come out thinking Aspies are totally unable to be independent and take care of themselves or fit in.

There were many parts of the movie that hit Asperger's dead on. Things about how an Aspie may not see the need to do something unless specifically asked, or things about how they can talk a little too much without realizing they need to change the subject. My husband and I laughed at these parts and recognized them for what they were.

In all actual, the character reminded me more of my 9 year old Aspie son. I could see him in the character, more unable to know how to do things or adapt to social situations. But as the movie went on I began to understand where they were coming from.

This character seemed to have a very sheltered life until his dad died. He was a kid with Asperger's grown to an adult who probably had his dad handle everything. He had never been out of the city by himself or really done anything by himself. This is where I began to understand the character as a "sheltered" Aspie. Toward the end of the movie it showed more realistically that of my husband who had learned to adapt to the "ways of the world" or had figured out how to "fake" things in a sense to fit in. You could still tell it wasn't easy, but it showed that an Aspie can get a long just fine in life and it doesn't have to be made into such a big deal.

I guess I have mixed feelings on this movie. It kind of made me worry that other people are going to think Asperger's is a major disability, when I don't believe it is. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think of it more as a way of thinking difference almost as if it were a different culture and not so much a disability. In college I got my degree in Interpreting for the Deaf and we never looked at Deaf people as having a disability, but instead having a culture all their own. It's just a different way of life.

My husband liked the movie, however hated the ending. It wasn't exactly a happy ending, and the girl in it didn't understand what the guy meant in the end. And it bugs me that I understood what the guy meant although he couldn't put the right words out, but I know that most audiences are going to take what he said literally and not understand along with the girl and so think that the guy was dumb and could never do right in the world.

OK, so I don't want to spoil this movie for anyone as to why I'm not giving big details, and I suppose you won't know what I'm talking about unless you see it. I'd say see it, and see what you think. There is good and bad. Being surrounded by Asperger's everyday, the movie made sense to me and I read more into it that probably most people will. I just wish the regular movie goer could too or I really feel people will come out of this movie thinking that Aspie's can't have a normal relationship ever and that you shouldn't marry and Aspie.

One part in the move upset me a lot. It was when the dad of the girlfriend was telling her why she shouldn't be with this Aspie guy. He was telling her the guy could never be anything more than that of a child and he could never give her what she needed or be equal, etc. This made me angry in 2 ways. It made me upset to think how other parents might direct their daughters not to date my son later in life, and it made me upset to think my husband might think he's not good enough. I love my husband and never once thought I was married to him to "take care of him" or that he is a child.

I guess one good thing I get from the movie is to know we are doing the right thing to not let our Aspie son lead a sheltered life. We push him out there and get him experiencing all parts of life regardless of his Asperger's. I think I would like to see a movie more about someone with Asperger's who had a little more experience in life, or rather the "continuation" of this movie to see really what this character could do now that he had learned a bit more.

Anyone that's seen this movie, please let me know what you think!


Julie L. said...

Good review. I had to drive an hour out of my small city to see the film. I felt it was worth the drive, but was also uncomfortable with the description (by other characters) of Adam as childish. Was ambivilant about the ending.

strike said...

Nice blog and good review..Moreover the movie is also good...I watch Adam movie with my friends

th3blackw1d0w said...

I just recently saw the movie and agree with just about everything you said. I wish they would have made it more clear, maybe even hit you over the head clear, that Adam was sheltered, I think this is significant to the movie. I also wish the movie took more time with the ending, showing his growth in more detail.