Brendan Fraser plays Adam, who was born in 1962, in an elaborate bomb shelter constructed by his eccentric genius of a father (Christopher Walken). His parents, mistakenly believing that a nuclear bomb exploded in Los Angeles, stayed in the shelter for 35 years. Adam comes out in 1997 to get supplies. He meets Eve (Alicia Silverstone) who is at first annoyed and bewildered by his innocence and old-fashioned values, but then charmed by them.
This leisurely comedy has no surprises or special insights, but it does have attractive performers (including Dave Foley as Troy, the gay best friend). It doesn’t waste much time on Adam’s surprise at the changes of the last 35 years. Instead, it allows us to share his undiluted joy from the simple pleasures he has never had a chance to experience, like the sunrise and the ocean. And it even has some poignance as Troy and Eve envy Adam’s old-fashioned good manners and love for his family.
Parents should know that there is some strong language and some sexual references, including a prostitute of ambiguous gender and adult video stores (nothing shown), and “comic” alcohol abuse (Adam’s mother, played by Sissy Spacek, becomes an alcoholic while she is confined to the bomb shelter). Some parents may also be concerned about an addled character who founds a new age style religion based on the belief that Adam and his family are gods. In general, the movie’s values are sound, however, emphasizing Eve’s essential honesty and her appreciation of Adam’s integrity and courtesy.