Picks and Pans Review: About Adam

updated 05/14/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/14/2001 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Stuart Townsend, Kate Hudson, Frances O'Connor, Charlotte Bradley

Adam (Townsend), a businessman and conniving charmer in contemporary go-go Dublin, is clear on his mission in life: "I like to give people what they want, to make them happy," he says.

He makes the three adult Owen sisters very happy indeed by romancing each in this clumsy sex comedy. There's Lucy (Hudson), a singing waitress who flits between men; Laura (O'Connor), a bookworm who longs to be swept away by passion; and Alice (Bradley), who's wed to a boring lunk and seeks extramarital excitement.

Adam may have an easy time reeling in the Owen women, but his appeal will elude viewers. To pull off the film's bed-hopping plot, the character must be alluring; instead, Adam is merely irritating. The big disappointment, though, is the misconceived performances by Hudson and O'Connor, actresses who have proved winning elsewhere (Hudson in last year's Almost Famous and O'Connor in 1999's Mansfield Park). Rookie director-writer Gerard Stem-bridge lets both carry on as if they're imitating chattering chipmunks.(R)

Bottom Line: Prince charmless

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