Adam (2019 American film)

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Adam poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRhys Ernst
Produced by
Written byAriel Schrag
Based onAdam
by Ariel Schrag
Music byJay Wadley
CinematographyShawn Peters
Edited byJoe Murphy
  • Little Punk
  • Symbolic Exchange
  • Meridan Entertainment
Distributed byWolfe Releasing
Release date
  • January 25, 2019 (2019-01-25) (Sundance)
  • August 14, 2019 (2019-08-14) (United States)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States

Adam is a 2019 American comedy film directed by Rhys Ernst in his directorial debut, from a screenplay by Ariel Schrag, based upon the novel of the same name by Schrag. It stars Nicholas Alexander, Bobbi Menuez, Leo Sheng, Chloe Levine, and Margaret Qualley.

It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2019. It was released on August 14, 2019, by Wolfe Releasing.




In November 2016, it was announced Desiree Akhavan would direct the film, from a screenplay by Ariel Schrag, based upon her novel of the same. James Schamus and Howard Gertler would produce the film, while Joe Pirro would serve as an executive producer under their Symbolic Exchange banner.[1] However, Akhavan had to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts, with Rhys Ernst directing the film.[2]


It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2019.[3][4] Shortly after, Wolfe Releasing acquired distribution rights to the film.[5] It was released on August 14, 2019.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Adam holds a 85% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 13 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.21/10.[7] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 63 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[8]


Because gender deception is a major plot element of the film (and the novel upon which it is based), it has been the subject of controversy.[9][10] Ernst, the director, a trans person himself, has acknowledged the source material's criticisms, but says "a primary condition to my working on the project was that I would tell it from a trans perspective" and that "the changes address many of the concerns that have been raised about the novel"[11] As well as stating “the things that people are afraid of, who haven’t seen the movie, none of those things are in the movie.”[12] and stating, "There were a lot of changes between the book and the script, so I didn’t really dwell on the book that much. I’m seeing my role and vision in this to create a whole new work that’s jumping off from the script but not the book so much."[13]

Ernst also responded to online calls to boycott the film, saying, “the idea of boycotting or condemning projects before they’re released is not progressive or beneficial. It reminds me of Gamergate, of attempts to shut down a female Ghostbusters movie. … I don’t think I believe in boycotts of cultural products, of art. There are other ways of engaging. I think, you know, burning a book, even the most vile book I can think of — I find that too close to fascism. I’m sorry. I don’t believe in that.”[14]


  1. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (November 29, 2016). "Desiree Akhavan To Direct Book Adaptation 'Adam' For James Schamus' Symbolic Exchange". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  2. ^ Erbland, Kate (October 27, 2017). "How 'Appropriate Behavior' Filmmaker Desiree Akhavan Avoided the Second-Film Slump By Getting the Hell Out of Hollywood". IndieWire. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  3. ^ Debruge, Peter (November 28, 2018). "Sundance Film Festival Unveils 2019 Features Lineup". Variety. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  4. ^ "Adam". Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 19, 2019). "James Schamus Produced Comedy 'Adam' Acquired By Wolfe Releasing – Cannes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
  6. ^ "Adam". IFC Center. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  7. ^ "Adam (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Adam Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  9. ^ "Your First Look at 'Adam,' a Comedy About Mistaken Gender Identity". 2019-07-22. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  10. ^ "'Adam' Director Rhys Ernst Addresses Critics and the 'War on Nuance'". 2019-07-22. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  11. ^ Ernst, Rhys (June 5, 2018). "On "Adam"". Medium. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Whitney, Oliver (August 5, 2019). "Should the Movie Adam Be Canceled Before Anyone Sees it?". Vulture. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  13. ^ Whitney, Oliver (January 26, 2019). "Rhys Ernst Wants To Make A Trilogy Of Movies About Trans Men". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  14. ^ "People Are Calling For This Queer Indie Film To Be Canceled Before It Hits Theaters". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 2019-08-03.

External links[edit]