THE STORY SO FAR:
Award-winning composer CHRISTOPHER LENNERTZ scores ADAM, the romantic dramedy, directed and written by Max Mayer (BETTER LIVING). The film is a unique love story about a young man named Adam who is affected by Aspergers, a high functioning form of autism. ADAM will debut as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at Sundance on Monday, January 19 at 12:15p.m. in the Eccles Theatre, Park City.
Born-and-bred New Yorker Adam Raki (British thesp Hugh Dancy) has just lost his father. As we learn in short order, he also has Asperger syndrome, a developmental disorder characterized by physical clumsiness, low empathy and an inability to perceive what others are thinking. Indeed, the opening passages contain some rather too obvious signifiers of Adam’s emotional stuntedness: a shot of him staring unfeelingly into his dad’s open grave; a freezer stacked with nothing but macaroni-and-cheese TV dinners; a routine that sends him back and forth between his tidy flat and his job as an electronic engineer.
The score reinforces the sterility of the film. Sure, Lennertz is better known for being a comedy friendly composer. His light and warmth comes through on the tracks, as we see him explore and play cues off of Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne’s characters. The problem is that everything feels predictable.
I’m sure that this isn’t indicative of the movie. But, Lennertz feels like he’s playing a little too paint by the numbers for my tastes. Case in point, the track where Adam explains Asperger’s. It’s been some time since I’ve heard a compsoer battling with intent on a track like this. It’s fun, yet serious. It’s lengthy, yet compact.
The rest of the score plays out these problems to a lesser extent. But, what it comes down to is mis-direction. What kind of film are you selling us? I can’t quite tell from the rather well-constructed tracks. They each sound like different missives from films yet unimagined. Then, there’s the bonus song inspired by the film. “So Many Things to Tell You” is brilliant, but it is so distant from the other tracks. But, this is a snowflake album. Hunt it down, if you’re a curious audiophile. Otherwise, sit this one out.
Final Score: 88% – B