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Stars: Hugh Dancy, Rose Byrne, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving, Mark Linn-Baker, Frankie Faison, Haviland Morris

Director: Max Mayer

A rather naive romantic drama about a 29-year-old man (Dancy) with Asperger's Syndrome (high-end autism). He's a whiz at electronic engineering and astronomy, but has just lost the father he relied on for worldly problems, and is soon to lose his job.

His new neighbour is Beth (Byrne), an ordinary girl who is understandably reluctant to be drawn into a relationship. Does Adam love her? Does he really comprehend the meaning of love? Or is he just looking for a father substitute? A sub-plot involves Beth's father (Gallagher) being taken to court over financial indelicacies.

Beth and Adam's love affair/friendship is modestly affecting, though not as much as it might be, thanks to rather plain writing that struggles to put the right words into the mouth of an Asperger's sufferer. Nothing wrong with the performances though - Dancy and Byrne are just fine.

Purists, however, may detect a possible continuity slip. Beth's name, as printed on the book she writes at the end, is given as Elizabeth - yet her father calls her Bethany...

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox (Fox Searchlight). Colour by deluxe.
100 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 01 Aug 2009