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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Movie Review - Adore

Adore (2013)
Starring Naomi Watts, Robin Wright, Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville, Sophie Lowe, Jessica Tovey, and Ben Mendelsohn
Directed by Anne Fontaine
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

There's an uncomfortable feeling that permeates throughout Adore that I can't imagine anyone really finding kosher.  The story of two grown women -- Lil (Naomi Watts) and Roz (Robin Wright) -- going through a mid-life crisis is at its core.  Lil is a widow left with a son Ian (Xavier Samuel) after her husband dies who, despite nearly a decade without her significant other, hasn't quite moved on with her life.  Roz is Lil's best friend, has been married to Harold (Ben Mendelsohn) for two decades, and has a son named Tom (James Frecheville).  The two families have had their lives intertwined for years, but one night when Harold is away, that "intertwining" takes on new meaning as Ian and Roz have a passionate night of lovemaking only to be seen by Roz's son Ian.  Upset, Ian run to Lil...who ends up comforting him by sleeping with him as well.

Feeling a little skeezed out yet?  You should be.  The two women and their two sons decide that these relationships while admittedly a little odd are exactly what the doctor ordered -- they make the women feel young and also feel natural since they've all known each other for years.  That'd be one crazy doctor, however, to give the okay to the obviously psychologically damaging set-up that's going on here.

Oddly enough, however, I was actually moderately impressed at how the film takes its time exploring the two incredibly inappropriate relationships.  While the concept seems odd, the film makes the couplings feel like a natural progression (although, admittedly, director Anne Fontaine sets things up way too obviously in the film's opening act with sensual looks and simple caresses blatantly foreshadowing what is to come).  All of the actors sell the concept with Watts and Wright doing their best to try and make the audience feel less uncomfortable than the set-up inevitably warrants -- they don't necessarily succeed, but they come close.

Still, in the end, it all just feels rather silly.  There is an attempt at trying to get serious in the film's final act, but after two-thirds of frivolity and sexual shenanigans, I didn't buy into that aspect.  Adore was pretty roundly trashed by the critics upon its release and while I don't think it's deserving of a complete dismissal, it's just a tiny bit too icky to fully embrace.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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