Adore (2013)

A pair of childhood friends and neighbours fall for each other's sons (from IMDb).

Rating: ★

This film has a really strange concept, and it's not for everyone. If you're weirded out by the idea of two women falling in love with boys they have watched grow up, this isn't for you. If you're slightly more open-minded about the situation, or just curious how they portray it, I'd recommend giving this a watch. 

The concept was what drew me to watching this film, after a friend recommended it. It sounded dumb, and I knew it didn't receive a lot of positive reviews when it was released, but I'm glad I watched it. The writers really tried to face some interesting questions about love and attraction, about age being just a number. Sure, they didn't quite get the emotional depth they wanted, but points for trying. This isn't your typical movie about forbidden love, and they did what they could. 

The film follows several years in the lives of the four main characters - Roz and her son Tom, and Lil and her son Ian. Roz and Lil have been friends since they were children, and were there for each other through everything as they grew up. Roz was there for Lil when her husband passed away. Lil was there for Roz when she and her husband separated. Through all their ups and downs, they were there for each other. At the start of the film, when the boys are eighteen, is when the dynamic between the mothers and each other's sons begin to shift into something different than it ever was before. Roz and Ian are the first to give into their new-found feelings, and Lil and Tom quickly follow suit. 

The challenges the two couples face over the years were things all couple faced, and it wasn't so focused on how everyone else saw their relationship. Since it was a very minimal cast, it gave the opportunity to focus on just the lovers. For a very long time, no other world existed outside of their bubble, and so when it did, that's when things started going south. 

Roz and Ian (played by the fantastic Robin Wright and Xavier Samuel respectfully) were my favourite couple on screen, and I really wanted things to work out for them as they seemed so genuinely committed to trying. Lil and Tom (Naomi Watts and James Frecheville) actually quite annoyed me, as they both just seemed so self-involved as people. Whereas Roz and Ian started by being genuinely attracted to each other, and finally giving in to their connection, Lil and Tom started because Tom saw Ian with his mother and wanted to get revenge. Sure, it then turned into a relationship but it doesn't seem like the best of starts. 

Lil came across as a desperate woman hanging onto her young, to the idea of an attractive partner after spending so long alone. She was lonely, and this attractive man wanted to be with her, so she decided to go for it. But their relationship was actually pretty toxic, a ticking time bomb, which went off when Tom met someone else, someone younger. Through his mistakes, the pair of them destroyed any chance for Roz and Ian to be happy, as their breakup pulled the two of them apart as well. Roz and Ian made the sacrifice of being apart, for the sake of their friends, but Lil and Tom decided they didn't have to play by the same rules despite the rules existing because of them to begin with. 

Overall, I actually quite enjoyed Adore, and clearly got quite attached to some of the characters. The 3 out of 5 stars isn't because I didn't like it; it's because I feel there were so many missed opportunities to increase the emotional depth to the film. I also didn't feel the ending was right for a film like this; I'm not a fan of open endings, but with all the missed moments in the script to go for it, this open ending just felt like they didn't know what to do, rather than it making sense. 

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