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ADAM

THEORY OF MIND
THEORY OF MIND: Noun. 1. the ability to conceive of mental states – beliefs, desires and intents –in others and to understand that your beliefs, desires and intents are different from everyone else's

What happens when you fall in love with someone for whom love itself is an alien concept? In the unconventional romantic comedy, ADAM, the tale of a romance between a bright, sophisticated young woman and a mysterious, sheltered brilliant young man becomes a humor-laced excursion into the riddle of romantic chemistry and the moving ways people find to connect, even when they can't possibly see the world in the same way.

This love affair between Adam and Beth, unique as it is in the world of cinema, contains elements we all can relate to, even if we're "neurotypical.” "Really, the bottom line is that all relationships are difficult, and full of misunderstandings, because that's just how we're wired,” laughs writer and director Max Mayer. "It's through no fault of our own, really. But I think a story like this gets at the idea that we also all have a kind of innocence at our core where we can still touch each other.”

The film marks the breakout feature film from Mayer, who has directed more than 50 new plays Off-Broadway and around the country, and has also directed for some of television's most prestigious shows, including "Alias” and "The West Wing.” His inspiration for ADAM came, rather appropriately, out of the blue. One day, Mayer was listening to the radio when he was suddenly riveted by a story about a man living with Asperger's Syndrome, an increasingly common form of high-functioning autism that is hallmarked by an inability to read what other people are thinking and feeling. Those with Asperger's Syndrome can be highly intelligent, even off-the-charts brilliant, but are often socially cut-off because they perceive ordinary human behavior as strange, irrational and even wildly incomprehensible. They are, essentially, "mindblind.”

It struck Mayer that we all get a dizzying glimpse at that kind of confusion in romantic relationships – when we each become bumbling amateur detectives trying to figure out this total stranger that makes our heart beat faster -- and he couldn't help but wonder what it would be like for a person who has Asperger's Syndrome to carry on a romance with someone who doesn't. The concept seemed rife not only with relatable mishaps but a vivid new way to view the pinnacle of human emotions -- from the fresh perspective of someone who sees emotion differently.

Thus was born the character of Adam. If women are from Venus and men are from Mars, Adam appears to be from another galaxy entirely, but that doesn't stop him from going after his own, albeit disaster-prone, version of romance with remarkable spirit and courage. "When I heard that man on the radio talking about Asperger's Syndrome, I realized that not only was he describing his own very moving journey but also something about the general human condition,” says Mayer. "We are all trapped in our heads – and can only make guesses about what another person's experience is of the world, even those we love. That's what inspired me to begin ADAM. As I started writing, I realized that Adam's relationship to Beth is an extreme version of a very common dilemma we all face in life: the urge for an intimate connection to that which is necessarily strange – another person with their own view of the world.”

A long-time New Yorker, Mayer wrote ADAM as a classic Manhattan boy-meets-girl-ina- building romance – but with a unique twist. After all, this boy and this girl have more than just the usual circumstantial obstacles standing between them; they have the mystery of the human brain itself.

To create Adam as a fully-fledged character, Mayer began by looking into what little is known today about Asperger's Synd

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