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"My favorite children's book is about a little prince who came to Earth from a distant asteroid. He meets a pilot whose plane has crashed in the desert. The little prince teaches the pilot many things, but mainly about love. My father always told me I was like the little prince, but, after I met Adam, I realised I was the pilot all along."
Adam Raki is a twenty nine year old man born with Asperger Syndrome living alone in Manhattan after his father's death. He has difficulties communicating with others, the only real friend he has is his father's old black war buddy Harlan who is the only one who knows exactly how to deal with him. Adam works as an electronic engineer at a toy company, and spends his free time indulging his love of space exploration. Beth Buchwald, a school teacher and aspiring children's author, moves into the apartment above his. They meet doing laundry and from there they tentatively begin to form an awkward friendship- that leads to something more. During the movie Beth has to deal with her father being indicted, facing a jail sentence, and revealing a confronting secret which throws their relationship into turmoil; Adam has to deal with being fired, finding a new job and making his relationship with Beth work.
- Allergic to Love: Adam finds it very difficult to talk to Beth because of his Aspergers.
- All Women Are Lustful: When Beth starts her relationship with Adam, they agree to take it slowly. Two dates later, she decides to have sex with him.
- Archnemesis Dad / Bastard In Sheep's Clothing: A milder version of this trope. Beth's father looks like a stand-up guy, but then his affair and his disapproval of Adam comes out, Beth's mother practically pushes Beth out the door once Adam shows up in order to save her from her deceptive father and so the couple can be together. It doesn't stick.
- Artistic License Astronomy: Averted, Adam knows a lot about astronomy. Clearly, the writers have Shown Their Work.
- Asperger Syndrome: The titular character has it.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Sort of. Beth's father is not exactly the best human being alive, what with cheating on his wife and accusations of dodgy dealings flying around him. Turns out he's none too pleased with the idea of Beth dating Adam as well. He'll be pleased to hear that the relationship doesn't last.
- Berserk Button: Don't insult Beth's Father, even if yours just died.
- Adam really dislikes being lied to.
- Big Applesauce
- Big Brother Mentor, Black Best Friend & Magical Negro
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma
- Boy Meets Girl: Not so typical.
- Brutal Honesty
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Beth's father Marty is accused of being one.
- Daddy's Girl: Beth.
- Did Not Get the Girl
- Does Not Understand Sarcasm
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The bedroom interview rehearsal scene.
- Extreme Doormat: Zigzagged with Adam depending on what the script requires at any given time.
- Fake American: British Hugh Dancy as Adam and Australian Rose Byrne as Beth.
- "Falling in Love" Montage
- Foregone Conclusion: Zigzagged. Beth is told early on that people with Asperger's are bad romance material, but ultimately strikes up a relationship with Adam. Then they break up, then she has second thoughts and then finally they break up again.
- Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "When in Rom."
- Literal Minded
- Magical Negro: Adam's family's old driver seems to have nothing better to do than give him advice, and look bemused, of course.
- Meet Cute
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Really a misplaced children's book author. This woman has never heard of AS before, but feels she's prepared to date Adam after briefly asking one of her fellow teachers about it's effects on children. After one or two awkward dates she decides to sleep with him anyway.
- Only Child Syndrome: Beth tells her Dad that she must scare people off because of being an only child.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Adam, according to Beth, in one awkward argument scene. Apparently, Autistic Equals Violent
- Scenery Porn: Some of the closing shots of Flintridge, California. The snow in central park also counts.
- Screwed By The Theatres: This film was clearly intended to help spread awareness about the condition and to help people understand elements of it. However, it only got a limited release in theatres.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Adam, when he gets onto the topic of astronomy.
- Shown Their Work: Even though it's far from "100% accurate" (Aspergers differs greatly from case-to-case anyway), it's clear that a good deal of effort by the filmmakers and actors has been put in to depict someone living with Asperger's Syndrome in a fair light.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Even though the movie is about a guy with Asperger's Syndrome, the subplot about Beth's father and the court case sure takes up a lot of time. It's egregious because the protagonists learn absolutely nothing from it.
- Super OCD: Adam has a very strict routine.
- Supporting Protagonist: Beth narrates.
- What the Hell, Hero?
- Why Didn't You Just Say So?: The movie really seems to think Adam should just know to carry heavy objects for women he barely knows.
- Your Cheating Heart: Both Beth's father and her ex-boyfriend. Not with each other.