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The Ryan Reynolds Scene In The Adam Project That Will Make You Want To Hug Your Mom

This content was paid for by Netflix and created by Looper.

In addition to being a heart-pounding and action-packed adventure through various timelines, "The Adam Project" is also something of a tearjerker. The film follows Adam Reid (Ryan Reynolds) as he journeys back in time and reconnects with his younger self and his late father, Louis (Mark Ruffalo), which gives him a chance to both save the future and confront his own difficult past.

Audiences will no doubt get a case of the gulps over some of the tender scenes between the older Adam and his younger, more vulnerable self. And when both versions of Adam finally get a second chance to say goodbye to their dad, who was suddenly lost in a tragic accident, it makes for some truly touching moments indeed. 

But perhaps the most heart-swelling part of the entire picture is the delicate relationship building between Adam and his mother, Ellie (Jennifer Garner), who he takes for granted in his youth but, thanks to time travel, gets a second chance to say all the things he wishes he'd said back then. Grab your handkerchief and prepare for a good sob session as we take a deeper look at the Ryan Reynolds scene in "The Adam Project" that will make you want to hug your mom.

A lifetime of regrets

In "The Adam Project," Adam has to come to terms with quite a few truths that have escaped him in the time between 2022, wherein his 12-year-old self is still coping with the loss of his dad, and 2050, from whence he travels. First, he has to learn to actually like his younger self (and, thereby, his older self) — "punchable face" and all — and discover that he's actually a smart and very resilient person. Second, he has to face the fact that the reason he grew up to have resentment and harsh memories of his dad is that he used that anger as a defense mechanism to deal with the pain of his death. Instead of being someone who was absent and emotionally unavailable, Adam is reminded that his father made a lot of effort to bond with him as a boy.

But the third part of Adam's life that he has to reconcile with the reality of his past is one that he already fully knows. He wasn't very kind to his mother when he was a child, and as an adult, he desperately regrets how much he mistreated her. Amid all of the comedic moments that come with seeing 44-year-old Adam and his cute little 12-year-old counterpart interact, things get pretty serious when he tells his younger self to give his mother a break. Adam reminds his mini-me that Ellie is also grappling with a major loss, and unlike little Adam, she doesn't have anyone to help her pick up the pieces and give her comfort. In a heartbreaking line delivered by Ryan Reynolds, Adam says that he's still haunted by the way he behaved at young Adam's age, even three decades later.

A surprise second chance

Adam's awareness that he wasn't the most considerate kid is something he comes into the story with already, but he also gets a surprising chance to hear just how much of an impact his words and actions had on his mother. When Adam takes a break to have an adult beverage at a local bar, he's surprised to see his still-young mom waltz in to sip a glass of wine and share her frustrations with a friend.

He listens in as Ellie explains how teenagers are "assassins of happiness" who've outgrown their baby phase of offering their parents "pure love." Though older Adam remains silent, his expression of excruciation speaks volumes. At this point in time, Ellie is reeling from the fact that young Adam has been suspended from school for smart-mouthing his way into another fight. Plus, he's been less than supportive of her decision to start going out on dates. So when elder Adam overhears his mother begin to blame herself for how Adam is acting, he finally decides to say something that's been on the tip of his tongue for years.

A moment of renewal

When it's revealed Adam has been eavesdropping, he keeps things light and also insists that Ellie isn't at fault for her son being out of sorts. He even jokes about how teenage boys really are a handful and a half. However, he also layers his words with a lot of sincerity as he tells her that boys will always return to their mothers. When she suggests that he must have a good mother himself, he doesn't hesitate to agree. Reynolds' eyes in this moment reflect just how much the character secretly hopes she hears what he's really trying to say to her between the lines — that she really was a great mom.

Once Ellie notices that Adam is wearing a jacket that's remarkably similar to her late husband's, it's clear that her curiosity is piquing, so to protect the ruse that he's just a friendly stranger at the bar, he begins to leave. However, he can't resist the urge to drive his message home to his mom, so in his parting words, he tells her that her son loves her "more than he knows." This is a sweet reference to the phrase of affection young Adam uses with his mom, even when he's at his worst. That certainly seems to ring a bell with Ellie, and even though she isn't able to catch him before he goes, she seems truly touched by the exchange. Better yet, young Adam has also taken his older self's words of wisdom to heart and begins to show his mother how much he loves her, instead of just saying it.

The overarching theme of "The Adam Project" is to live by the famous words quoted by Adam's father — "Enjoy yourself; it's later than you think" — but considering how heartwarming this little reunion between Adam and his mom is, the movie is also all about making sure to appreciate mommas in the moment.