Adore

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In New South Wales, two young girls, Roz and Lil grow up as best friends. Many years later, Lil’s husband Theo, dies in a car accident and she is left to raise her young son, Ian, alone. Roz is married to a drama professor, Harold, and has a young son, Tom. Roz, steps up to the plate and becomes almost something of a second mother to Ian. Her friendship with Lil deepens to that of sisterhood. Lil, Roz, Harold, Ian, and Tom live near the beach.

Years pass and Tom and Ian are now 20 years old, still close. Harold applies for and is offered a job in Sydney without telling Roz. It becomes obvious that while Roz’s friendship with Lil has deepened over the years Harold and Roz have grown apart. He expects Roz to move to Sydney with him; she hesitates. Despite himself, Ian becomes seriously attracted to Roz. One night he looks at her and it is obvious that his feelings toward her have changed. Ian starts making casual advances towards Roz. Roz, despite herself, starts flirting back in the same manner. Saul, a man who has been after Lil for a long time, gets blown off by her again. One night Ian, Tom, Roz, and Lil are having dinner together. Roz and Ian flirt and watch Lil and Tom dance together. That night Tom has a little too much to drink. Ian goes back to the main house, where there is a guestroom that Ian often stays in. Ian kisses Roz, and although she is hesitant the two of them end up going to his room together.

That night Tom goes up to the kitchen for a drink and witnesses Roz coming out of Ian’s room, wearing nothing but a t-shirt and carrying her jeans in her hand. The next day Tom puts the moves on Lil and ends up telling her what has been going on between Ian and Roz. Tom takes revenge by initiating a sexual relationship with Lil. He informs his mother that he was with Lil and Roz slaps him in the face. Both, Lil and Roz agree that they have crossed a line and that it shouldn’t be crossed again. Lil informs Ian of this. Ian tells his mother that he loves Roz as Harold returns. Roz informs Harold that she and Tom don’t plan to move to Sydney with him because they can’t bear the thought of living anywhere else.

Things don’t go so well at first and Tom and Ian get into a fight then make up. Roz and Ian continue their relationship, but they are now getting along with Tom and Lil, who are continuing their relationship as well. Tom and Ian are acting brothers and best friends who are in love with a set of sisters. Later Roz and Harold divorce.

Two years later, Ian is working with his mother Lil, while Tom pursues his career as a stage director. Tom informs Ian that Harold has offered him a month-long directing job in Sydney, but is hesitant to leave, worrying that Lil would not be happy with this. But Ian encourages Tom to go, stating that Lil would not want to get in the way of his goals. Tom leaves for Sydney and soon meets a young woman named Mary who auditions for the lead. Tom is instantly attracted to Mary. Tom calls Lil and tells her about Mary, but does not mention that they are beginning a relationship. Lil begins to worry, however, though Ian and Roz try their best to console her. When Tom returns he continues his relationship with Lil, but at the same time receives calls from Mary.

On Tom’s 21st birthday, Harold comes back to celebrate and brings Mary as a surprise for Tom. Lil is unaware of this, and arrives later that night with Ian to the party. She sees Tom dancing with Mary. Tom in turn sees her and comes over to introduce the two women. Ian then asks Mary to dance and takes her to the dance floor. Tom informs Lil that Mary is staying at a hotel room and that he can come over after dropping her off. Lil tells him that it is not a good idea and soon leaves. Tom goes to Mary’s hotel and the next day Lil is devastated. She and Roz decide to unite together and end their respective relationships for good.

Tom and Mary later get married. At the wedding Ian is still mad at Roz, and hints to Harold that it’s his fault for the wedding. Ian then meets Mary’s maid of honor, Hannah. Ian is distraught and tries to see Roz early the next morning; still angry, he goes surfing and lands himself in the hospital. Hannah visits him in the hospital and the two later become involved. While meeting with Tom, Ian tells him that Hannah is great but it’s not going anywhere. That night after work Hannah informs Ian that she is pregnant.

Years later Ian and Tom both have daughters about the same age. Both couples, along with Lil and Roz, spend the day at the beach. Later that evening Lil leaves early, and Tom claims to be drunk and takes a walk to sober up. Ian then discovers that Tom and Lil have resumed their sexual relationship and is so angry that he discloses to the two young women what has been going on. Mary explains to a confused Hannah that Ian and Roz were lovers and that Tom and Lil are still lovers. Mary decides to leave Tom and Hannah goes with her, taking both girls with them. Mary informs Roz that she never wants to see any of them ever again. Lil explains to Roz about restarting her sexual relationship with Tom shortly after his wedding to Mary.

The movie ends with Ian swimming to the floating platform that has been a meeting place for the boys and their mothers all throughout the film. “Good morning,” he says politely. The next shot, from over the platform of sin, reveals each of the four, all lying there, but not touching; together, but each utterly alone.

REVIEW:

I believe they call those random posts on Facebook that have nothing to do with any of your friends, but seem to appeal to the stuff you like “clickbait”. I clicked on one of those, I believe it was called underrated films on Netflix, or something to that effect and saw Adore. From what they said about it, I thought it would be interesting. Was I right or wrong?

What is this about?

In this seaside drama adapted from a novella by Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing, two lifelong friends who fall in love with each other’s teenage sons must carry out their affairs in relative secrecy.

What did I like?

Friendship. Two women who have become best friends are every so proud of their two sons, who one of them calls “Greek gods”, also best friends. One can never have too many friends. You never know when you just need someone to talk to, get you out of a jam or, in the case of this film have illicit affairs with their son without them judging you.

Taboo. We are living in a society that is getting so homogenized, for lack of a better term, that we can do, say, or show anything without fear of offending someone. Sometimes a film just needs to grow some balls and go for it, you know? Thankfully, that is what we get here as the subject matter is very taboo. Or is it? Think about the premise of a teenage boy hooking up with his best friend’s mom while his said friend hooks up with his mom. If I’m not mistaken that is very similar to some porn “plots”. It works for that industry, no reason it can’t do the same for indie drama, right?

Cinema. Sometimes, in the era of explosions, giant robots, dinosaurs, and superheroes, we forget what real cinema is. Nothing about this film is flashy. Even the two lead actresses, who are beauties in their own right, seemed to be “uglied” up a bit. All this is done in the name of acting, the craft that many of Hollywood’s “actors” cannot do without special effects and a teleprompter.

What didn’t I like?

Oldman-light. There is an actor in here, I don’t really know his name, whose look, mannerisms and actions are very reminiscent of Gary Oldman, As a matter of fact, that’s who I thought he was at first. Instead, he’s just poor man’s clone on Oldman. He’s not as good an actor, but he tries. It is such a shame he will always be overshadowed by the man with the bigger, more successful look-alike.

One mistake. Women can be such fickle creatures. All it takes is just one mistake, be it big or small, and it is like the end of the world for us guys. Heaven forbid they are “surfing the crimson wave!” because that just makes things worse. A scene near the end of this film showcases how unforgiving women can be. The guys both make one mistake and they storm out with the kids, vowing to never see any of them again.

Wine, wine, and more wine…with a couple of beers. A small complaint that I have about this film is how in nearly every scene, Watts and Wright are sipping down wine like its water. When they drink beer with the boys they aren’t as fast. Is there something in the wine? Speaking of wine and beer, there is a scene where the ladies and their sons are talking and the subject of boobs is brought up which leads me to believe the author had women a bit more endowed than these two happen to be. For the purpose of the story that was told, it would work better if at least one of them was more than an A cup. This is totally not where I meant to go with this topic, but oh well.

Some people really do adore Adore. I am not one of these people. For me, this film was rather boring. The subject matter should have kept me interested, but it didn’t. This coming of age story about taboo relationships just isn’t my cup of tea, but I’m sure the audience it is targeted for will enjoy it. I recommend it to them, while the rest of us can find something more our speed like Fast and Furious. If you do insist on watching this, I trust that you’ll enjoy the melodrama and taboo subjects.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars

 

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