What About Adam?
finds that in the end we learn nothing about Adam except that he drives
a flash car and beds even flasher women.
Adam (Ireland) 2001
Gerald Stembridge (Writer/Director)
Kate Hudson, Stuart Townsend, Frances O'Connnor
As the opening gambit
to this year's Celtic Film Festival, this film was badly misplaced.
It is about as Celtic as those irritating Irish theme bars which seem
to have sprung up on every street corner in every town across the globe.
Every Mulligan's and O'Reilly's is certain to be jam packed with people
whose sole claim to Irishness is having once drunk some green beer and
belted out 'Whisky in a Jar'. The same dubious authenticity surrounds
the cosmopolitan cast of About Adam, which boasts amongst its leading
lights an American (Kate Hudson - Almost Famous; 200 Cigarettes) and
an Australian (Frances O'Connor - Mansfield Park and the upcoming AI).
However, if you are able to ignore minor quibbles such as the questionable
accents and occasionally weak plot, then the film does reveal a certain
Gerald Stembridge's (Ordinary Decent Criminal and Nora)
debut as writer and director is certainly not great cinema, but it is
at least fast-paced and entertaining. If all that you crave is some
light-hearted distraction, then this film delivers in a witty and amusing
manner. There is little here for the film purist, however, as Stembridge
seems happier to duck any of the potentially interesting moral issues
which the film produces and instead toes the mainstream line.
Yet, most punters will respond to the clever multiple storylines (à
la Traffic and Run Lola, Run!) and Stuart Townsend's competent
portrayal of the malleable character of Adam. Hudson is bubbly in spite
of her stereotypical character, who is the youngest of three sisters
and crucially the first to meet and fall for Adam. As the story progresses,
each sister falls in turn for the chameleon-esque charmer, with the
same sequence of events being replayed from each of the sister's perspectives.
Stembridge exploits much of the comic potential which his situations
present, yet the film suffers from his refusal to tackle the morals
of the duplicitous sisters and also the motivations behind the character
of Adam, which remain a mystery.
The script could have asked much more of its undoubtedly talented cast
and although O'Connor gives the most creditable performance as the poetry
obsessed middle sister, you feel slightly disappointed at the dull conclusion.
As a piece of Celtic cinema this ranks up there alongside Brigadoon,
yet although we are never really told that much about Adam except that
he drives a flash car and beds even flasher women, the film is highly
enjoyable. Like those annoying Irish bars, About Adam has a cheeky knack
of growing on you after a while.
© Stuart Macdonald 2001
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