About Adam

Shot about a year before Almost Famous launched Hudson onto Hollywood's A-list, this long-delayed release showcases a never less than adorable Hudson, even if her accent comes and goes - and disappears altogether when she sings (quite well, as it turns out). 

Somewhat unfortunately for the movie, Lucy the barmaid (Hudson) herself disappears for long stretches after she's wooed and affianced to Adam (Stuart Townsend) about half an hour in. 

Adam's a slippery, though not quite manipulative character who goes to extremes to please his prospective in-laws - including rewriting his biography on a case-by-case basis. 

For Lucy's bookish older sister Laura (Frances O'Connor of Mansfield Park), that leads straight to a roll in the hay with Adam. 

Though it's amusing, it's a development that makes for a bit of second-act slump, since O'Connor, fine actress that she is, doesn't have a fraction of Hudson's star wattage. 

Things pick up as Adam starts flirting with another sister, Alice (Charlotte Bradley), an unhappily married mother who resists - then gives into a quickie on her sister's wedding day. 

Adam even tempts their ostensibly straight brother (Alan Maher), who's having girlfriend trouble. In the movie's funniest scene, he's totally flummoxed when has to share a bed for an evening with his hunky future brother-in-law. 

Hudson returns for a comic wedding climax that's less uproarious than her character's nuptials in Robert Altman's Dr. T. and the Women, which this movie somewhat resembles thematically. 

Irish writer-director Gerald Stembridge, who's no Altman, doesn't come close to mining the comic potential of the situation, and Towsend's Adam remains something of a charming cipher. 

But thanks to Hudson and the other women, it's a moderately beguiling date movie - and a rare Irish movie that's free of hoary stereotypes and accents that are hugely challenging to American ears. 

 

ABOUT ADAM
Kate Hudson shines in a moderately beguiling date movie.
Running time: 100 minutes.
Rated R (sex, profanity).
At the Angelika and the Cinema 1.