Movie commercials offer us a great service; they not only show us which upcoming movies look good, but also which upcoming movies look like Hitler Turds (turds that waste no energy being anywhere except directly beneath your nose). In honor of this profound art, which I partake in from time to time, I give you TRAILER TRACKS, a weekly examination of upcoming movie commercials: what they say, what they don’t say, and what they say accidentally about the product being sold to you, the excited chump.
This week’s entry:
(Fox Searchlight; Dir. Max Mayer)
(I highly recommend you hit the little “HQ” button at the bottom of the player)
Hollywood loves to make movies where retarded people fall in love. My research indicates they come largely in two varieties:
One, the character is actually retarded. Such characters are life affirming and maybe even adorable, but they are also ugly and therefore can only help the desired woman find someone else to be the love of her life. Quasimoto, for instance or Sam from I am Sam who totally would have hooked up with Michelle Fifer in any other film.
Two, the character has some kind of illness which allows him to be both retarded and handsome. Since there are no diseases like this in real life, Hollywood had to invent one called Autism. The character isn’t really retarded because he has superpowers. Forrest Gump’s superpower is called Christianity.
Adam introduces us to the next rung on the Hollywood step-ladder of Retarded Romance: Asperger’s. This illness grants the leading man slightly improved social skills by taking his superpower down a notch. As a result, the character becomes twice as handsome and more eccentric than just odd. Judging from the Adam trailer, Asperger’s basically turns your actor into Jeremy Davies.
The Set Up:
We learn three things about Adam right off the bat. One, he has a childlike obsession with outerspace. Two, his only friend in the world is one of those poor actors from The Wire who still need to put food on the table even though they were involved in the greatest thing ever accomplished by human beings. And three, a girl just moved into his apartment building. It looks likely that #2 will try to advise Adam on how to suppress #1 so he can get #3.
They apparently have their meet-cute while doing laundry. She introduces her self as Beth Buckwell; he tells her his name is Adam Asshat. Because he’s retarded, he’s only wearing a suit jacket. But because he’s got Asperger’s, we get to see his emaciated Indie Rock Six-Pack. Their relationship deepens when he finds that she cannot see the stars from her apartment. He dresses up like an astronaut and cleans her dirty windows while dangling from the roof like John McClaine. Instead of seeing the severely disturbed person almost killing himself, she sees the troubled man-child trying to express himself in a world filled with Normals. Love begins to grow where her rosemary goes. Later he shows her his homemade animated Starlab and it’s a done deal.
Well, the problem is that he’s got Asperger’s, isn’t it? All the conflict this movie can offer has to come from this fact because the trailer tells us explicitly that she’s not strange which basically means she’s a cypher with no interesting shit of her own.
First she does a dry run by showing him to all her friends. One friend asks if he wants to see a video of her shoving a baby into the world through a vaginal blood waterfall and he says no automatically and they all look at him weird as if that’s just his Asberger’s talking. Speaking as someone who wouldn’t want to watch that video either, I find that offensive.
Next they have sex. Judging by the look on her face afterwords, there are plenty of hurdles to overcome when you’re dating someone with Asperger’s. That’s okay though; you don’t need orgasms when your love is true.
The movie doesn’t want her to be a bitch so they bring in Peter Gabriel to be one for her. I can’t say for sure how he’s connected to her because Peter Gabriel ages like Space-Bag Wine. He’s either her dad, her older brother, or her ex-lover/college professor. Regardless, he is the villain of the film since he doesn’t want her falling in love with Adam due to the Asperger’s.
This basically breaks down as Adam vs. Peter Gabriel. Some bad stuff must happen because we see Adam knock papers over and Beth Buckwell crying in someone’s arms. In the end they’ll be together an everyone will be happy. But it’s hard to predict how exactly they’ll get there.
Well, hard if you’re not Sam Strange. One moment in the trailer has Adam watching as Beth Buckwell and Peter Gabriel’s fighting hits a new peak. My guess is P.G. slaps Beth and Adam goes apeshit on him, picking him up and throwing him into outerspace where he becomes the new constellation, “Rockface”. Beth forgets for a moment how to be patient with Adam’s illness and screams, “You just killed my dad/brother/ex-husband, you freak!” She storms off in a huff and Adam is left alone. He can’t figure out what went wrong because he has a disease called Asperger’s.
A period of estrangement ensues. She tries to be strong, but melts after finding mementos of him around her apartment (solved rubick’s cubes, pet rocks, his nose-blowing sock). Right when she decides to go get him back, there’s a knock on her door. It’s him. “I’ve been hired by NASA,” he says. “They want me to go live on a star for six years.”
She wants him to stay, but couldn’t live with herself if she stood between him and his life’s ambition. So she lets him go. But on the day of the launch, she realizes her mistake and impulsively flies to NASA. After running up to the spaceship waiving her arms and yelling, “No Adam, don’t go!!!” NASA politely informs her that Adam isn’t on this flight. “He’s not?” she asks.
“No ma’am,” says NASA. “He said he had to decline. He said he already had a star right here on Earth.”
A tear falls down her cheek and she turns around and THERE HE IS! holding a bouquet of flowers and completely cured of Asperger’s. They hug each other as a spaceship lifts off in the background. The end.
The pull-quote used in the trailer pretty much says everything that needs to be said about whether or not you should see Adam:
“A wonderfully charming and beautiful story about falling in love” – Alex Billington, firstshowing.net
I rest my case.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey