Saturday, September 7, 2013

Adore Movie Review

Robin Wright and Naomi Watts (r) star in Adore

Here's to Our Mothers!

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet;" but what about a movie? Anne Fontaine's Adore has several aliases... Two Mothers, Perfect Mothers... and even the book it's based upon... The Grandmothers. Misplace your score card, and you might just drive yourself batty. The similarities go even further, culminating with the film's stars Naomi Watts and Robin Wright (both blonde, in their 40's, Golden Globe award nominees, impressive resumes, famous actor husbands... even their names look and sound the same.) By the time their characters start swapping sons... A-ha, looks like I have your attention.

Yes, Adore is a story about two hot MILFs who fall in love with their respective children: Cue groans and nervous fidgeting from the audience. Call me a prude, or even a hypocrite; but I simply couldn't get past the uncomfortable notion that this could happen in the first place. What's this, you ask? Try the following on for size...

Dinner conversation (four people at the table, moms & sons.)
Watts to Wright: 'Remember when I had boobs?'
Wright's son Tom (played by James Frecheville:) 'I want to hear more about your boobs.'
Laughter. More wine.

Halfway through the movie, yet another dinner conversation between our adventurous foursome.
Wright to Ian (Xavier Samuel:) 'Where are you going?'
Ian: 'To your room.' Ian leaves.
Awkward pause.
Tom to Watts: "See you at yours.' Tom leaves.
Smirks between the girls.
I wish I could leave.

I suppose it's only fair that Watts & Wright get to prove that they "still have it." Hollywood often shows its older, male stars (Al Pacino leaps to mind) as supposed objects of desire... why can't the girls get in on the action? Truth be told, both Watts & Wright still look darn good. I wonder if Adam Sandler will be casting himself opposite swimsuit models when he's 60? My money's on yes. But each other's sons? Really?

Perhaps if it were only one mother fooling around with the other's kid, it wouldn't be so icky. I'm even OK with both moms getting it on (aren't I a sport?) an idea they came up with first, 'We're not lesbos... are we?' But the inherent laundry list of moral dilemmas is too much for this "old soul" to comprehend. As difficult as I'm making it out to be, I'll muddle through for the sake of this review.

It takes two to tango: Xavier Samuel & James Frecheville (r) co-star

Controversies aside, Adore is beautifully shot (it's Australia... what did you expect?) and "sorta hot," I suppose. What difference does it make, if it's morally bankrupt? Watts & Wright balance guilt and passion with equal aplomb, although it seems the former (guilt) never puts up much of a fight. Wright is especially impressive, as the married (Watts' Lil is a widow,) perhaps more responsible of the two. You'll get a kick out of the way Roz (Wright) always seems to "be around" when Lil is hounded by a love-sick old puppy, played by Gary Sweet.

What happens next (inevitable jealousies, marriages, babies, etc.) is even more surreal than the initial fooling around. The more "normal" Ian and Tom try to become, the more preposterous their situation appears to the moviegoer. Take away the Harlequin romance element, and you're left with a 3:00 AM Showtime movie. All I came away with was a bad case of the heebie-jeebies.

Grade: C-