Urban Cinefile
"Christine's relationship with Raoul is her romantic awakening as a teenager, but her pull towards the Phantom is a very sexual, very deep, very soulful union"  -Joel Schumacher, director, The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday August 22, 2019 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



Adam (Stuart Townsend) is a Dublin Romeo who seduces all three daughters and a son of the same family. Lucy (Kate Hudson) is the first to fall for Adam's charms. While he is romancing her he sets his sights on bookish Laura (Frances O'Connor), married Alice (Charlotte Bradley) and finally David (Alan Maher). Appearing as the dream lover of each, his story is told in flashback from all four points of view as events culminate in a marriage proposal.

A Rashomon-like rom com with more com than rom, About Adam is engaging and funny, lightweight and entertaining, amusing and somewhat unpredictable. Itís like a cross between an English character comedy and an American sit com, elevated by its performances and by some well judged writing. You could say itís a boy meets girl, girl, girl, boy, girl sort of story, but the important bit is how he does it. It usually is the HOW not the WHAT, isnít it? Well, About Adam is far from mainstream, but if the word gets out, it could get a head of steam. After all, it tackles sex, gender, gender wars and love. What more can you ask for on a Saturday night?
Andrew L. Urban

Clever, unpredictable and tinged with a contemporary Irish flavour, About Adam is a winning romantic comedy with oodles of charm. Of course itís about the symbolically named Adam, who certainly has a way about him. He is the romantic hero and the charmer, as well as being the cad, the sneak, the flirt and the compulsive liar. Gerard Stembridge has structured his insightful screenplay into four parts, each of which offers a compelling and differing point of view. And in that view, we feel as though we get to know each member of the Owens family. Adam is the catalyst that brings each member to the crossroads and changes their lives forever. Of course, by the time we have come full circle, we have learned an awful lot about Adam, who reveals a very different side to everyone. Yes, there are many versions of the truthóthereís yours, thereís mine and there are the facts. Itís all a matter of perspective, and this delightful comedy through its wonderful performances brings us sunshine, rain, tears and laughter. Stuart Townsend is sensational as Adam. At first glance thereís nothing so very unusual about him. But as Townsend slowly builds nuances into the character making him so familiar, we feel as though we can totally understand him. But all the performances are strong. Looking more and more like her irrepressible mum Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson is adorable as Lucy, we warm to Frances OíConnor as the Ďbookwormí loner who discovers exhilaration while Charlotte Bradley has substance as Alice, who is not inexperienced in lifeís games. Witty, warm and wonderful, About Adam is a refreshing interlude and one every Adam and Eve will enjoy.
Louise Keller

Goodwill toward Irish romantic comedies receives a workout in this uneven tale of a randy Romeo and his conquests. Adam (Stuart Townsend) may not be a Valentino reborn but he does possess a gift of the gab weíre asked to believe makes him the object of everybodyís desire. Iím not so sure. Thankfully thereís an attractive cast around him including Kate Hudson looking angelic, a delightfully awkward Frances OíConnor as the student writing a thesis on Hysteria and Lust and a sexually aggressive Charlotte Bradley as the married member of the sisterly trio. Told in flashbacks from each victimís point of view, About Adam offers easy smiles most of the time but not the outright hilarity it strives for. The problem is the character of Adam himself, whose smirking grin and fanciful tales of his tragic family history and the origins of his sexy 60s Jaguar would surely have made any half-smart girl wary. Not hereóthe women are presented as all too ready to fall for this snake whose transparent charm reminded me of Rik Mayallís line in an episode of The Young Ones: Sure Iím a sensitive new age guy, itís the best way to pull the birds. This is funny enough on the surface but thereís something unsatisfactory beneath Adam and his methods. For much better treatment of the same story check out Pasoliniís Teorema (1968) or Michael York in lederhosen running riot with Countess Angela Lansburyís family and staff in Something For Everybody (1970).
Richard Kuipers

Email this article

Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1



CAST: Stuart Townsend, Frances OíConnor, Charlotte Bradley, Kate Hudson

DIRECTOR: Gerard Stembridge

PRODUCER: Anna Devlin, Marina Hughes

SCRIPT: Gerard Stembridge


EDITOR: Mary Finlay

MUSIC: Adrian Johnston

RUNNING TIME: 97 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista International

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 20, 2001 (Melbourne only; other states tba)

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2019