Miramax films seems to be one of a few studios who seems to have an many an older movie on the shelf that they're willing to bring out when said star catches on with a larger audience. Recently, it was "Bridget Jones's Diary" star Renee Zellweger, whose never-seen "Shake, Rattle and Rock" was suddenly yanked from cable oblivion to have a minor video release in the month prior to "Jones". Now, with Kate Hudson's star on the rise since "Almost Famous", the studio has dusted off "About Adam", a comedy who decides to be feather-light when it could have had more possibilities.
The film is definitely a rather strange one. It revolves mainly around Lucy (Hudson, attempting to do a decent Irish accent), a young lass who's been with several guys, but can't seem to find one that she wants to settle down with. Suddenly, while she's singing in the bar she waitresses in, she finds herself falling for Adam (Stuart Townsend). The two hit it off and Lucy thinks she's found the one that she wants to settle down with. Unfortunately, Stuart is also settling down with her two sisters, Laura (Francis O'Connor) and Alice (Charlotte Bradley). Even her brother may or may not be attracted to him. Adam also manages to find his way into bed with the brother's girlfriend. Oh, and I forgot to mention, Adam has accepted Lucy's marriage proposal before all this happened, or maybe after, as the back-and-forth time structure in the movie thinks its clever with its simply messy and annoying after a while.
Irish director Gerard Stembridge could have made something interesting out of the odd Adam's attempt to seduce all three sisters, but he instead turns it into a sitcom of thinly written characters and disbelief about the fact that the sisters would so willingly decide to accept the opportunity to cheat on Lucy with her new husband. Adam, obviously a big liar, fools each sister and changes his personality to suit what each one is looking for.
Although Hudson's cute performance is not nearly up to what she offered in "Almost Famous", she's also working with a much thinner character here. She's not alone, as none of the characters seem three-dimensional or engaging. To make matters worse, director Stembridge goes too heavily on things like narration, which all the characters often do to discuss how they're currently feeling, when their acting should be showing their current emotions.
"Adam" desperately wants to be charming and funny, but I found it succeeded at neither. I found it hard to care about any of the characters and the "Happily Ever After" romantic ending was definitely hard to believe. Hudson really does have a great future (as this was done before "Famous", even), but I never found "About Adam" romantic or very amusing.
VIDEO: "About Adam" is presented by Miramax in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Although the film itself didn't provide much interest, I thought the film's visuals and locations provide an attractive background to the story. Sharpness and detail are consistently fine throughout the movie, as the picture never fell into even light softness. Some scenes appeared a little on the dark side, but this may have been the fault or choice of the filmmmakers.
Pleasantly, the print used seemed to be in excellent shape. Although I noticed some light grain and a speck or two in some shots, there was nothing else to be concerned with, as no pixelation or edge enhancement was noticed.
While the film's color palette occasionally remains somewhat subdued, brighter and richer colors occasionally shine through boldly, looking rich and well-saturated. Flesh tones also remained natural and accurate. A nice, if not exceptional, transfer.
SOUND: "About Adam" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. I really don't think I even noticed any surround use aside from some slight re-inforcement of the music. The music did sound very rich coming from the front speakers, while dialogue came through clearly and was easily heard, even with the accents. Definitely a prime example of "comedy audio", with little activity at all.
MENUS:: Basic, non-animated menus that essentially use film-themed images and cover art.
EXTRAS:: Brief "making of" featurette, "Sneak Peeks" section with trailers for "Get Over It", "Blow Dry" and "St. Ives".
Final Thoughts: I found "About Adam" to be a bore, livened only briefly by Hudson's fun and energetic performance. Miramax's DVD provides fine audio/video quality, but for $32.99, there's little in the way of supplemental features. I wouldn't even recommend it for a rental, personally.