Adam is a drama that focuses on the growing romance between Adam, who has aspergers syndrome and Beth, who doesn't. I thought aspergers was represented pretty accurately in the film and it definatly felt like watching aspects of my life, I don't suffer the anger/tantrums (I tend to just hide away and go very quiet) that Adam did, but pretty much everything else could of been taken from my life. I think it pretty much sums up life for any person with aspergers. However, we must remember that aspergers is a spectrum disorder and every case will be different. We all have our own peculiarities and have aspects which we do and don't have, many neurotypical people (NT) share traits of asperger's and people will frequently tell me theirs nothing wrong with me, and that they don't like going out, talking to people etc etc. The difference is that I don't ever like it and neither did Adam unless he was talking about space.
Adam is obsessed with space (its nutrition/health for me), he eats macaroni and cheese every day (mine varies a little more but I will spend days and weeks eating the same meal before swapping to one of my other meals when prompted to), he struggles with literal interpretations of what people communicate to him and suffers communications difficulties as I do. Their are various points in the movie in which he has a shutdown/meltdown and avoids contact with others. Viewers may think that this is a choice Adam makes, its hard to explain to an NT person but I/we don't have a choice, it just happens out of panic/anxiety.
For most people I think a lot of Adam's odd behaviors are subtle and may be missed at first viewing, which is much similar to peoples experiences of those with asperger's. When I first meet people they rarely realise I have asperger's and its only 6 months later when they add up the amount of oddities I have. That I cannot alter my routines, diet, life, want to stay at home a lot, suffer anxiety if anything changes, hate when people mock my lifestyle. I don't have a great deal to say (often nothing), unless its about nutrition/health or maybe bikes. Asperger's syndrome people are often highly intelligent and can appear full functioning, but lack ordinary social skills. Adam for example, doesn't understand that when confronted with a new mother showing off her baby, he should show interest and ask questions. This lack of knowledge in the aspie is where they will get tagged as cold hearted and rude. At Christmas I was taking part in a social function 2 days in a row, now my brain kept thinking why would we need to do it 2 days in a row. Surely we could say everything in one sitting and it would be done? The truth is people love to socialise, especially at Christmas. So, while for me its just another day, same meals, same activities etc that just get interupted by opening a few presents and saying happy christmas when someone says it to me. Have to remember that people do this sort of stuff because its either expected of them or the enjoy it. Adam clearly doesn't see the need to socialise with people so it accurately represents how those with asperger's view the world.
Viewers see both Adam and Beth's perceptions of life, and I cringe seeing the reactions of Beth when Adam is unable to stomach being in a restaurant or understand why she may want to attend a party. Beth states that it will be "fun" and Adam insists that he has "fun" at home. The little despairing looks from Beth made me realise how frustrated my wife must get from time to time when I either want to stay at home and eat or struggle to understand why we have to visit people. People in general like to visit restaurants and engage in family life. Life for me is sitting just enjoying my wife's company, eating the same meals, studying nutrition and riding my bikes, so I have to try and remind myself to think what other people would like. I hope that the film encourages both NT and Aspie people to think about the other side of the coin.
The film is a drama which everyone will enjoy. Its not to heavy, but its also loaded with thought provoking moments that allow us all (aspie or NT's) so take a look at how we live our lives. Do we see socialising as an enjoyable aspect of both work and our family lives. Or do we see it as a necessary evil that we have to endure in order to fit in with society. Viewing from an asperger's standpoint I can say that its a useful film to gain clarity on who I am, and also a useful tool for partners and family of those with asperger's to more clearly understand them and see why the world is such a tough place to engage in.