By 1993, Adams began to land supporting parts in films such as Coneheads, and Dazed and Confused. But her big splash (and a Golden Globe nod) came with a lead role opposite Ben Affleck in Chasing Amy (1997). After making the indie drama A Cool Dry Place, Adams starred with Adam Sandler in Big Daddy (1999).
Adams continues to mix low-profile movies such as Reaching Normal (2001) with big-budget Hollywood fare such as 2006's The Break-Up. In 2006, her first directorial effort, Come Early Morning, was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.