Adore / Perfect Mothers (2013)

Lil: "In fact, I can't remember being this happy."
By Anne Fontaine
With Robin Wright, Naomi Watts, Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville

A part from the casting of Naomi Watts, who I have admired for many of her movie choices, it was the fact that the screenplay of Adore is based on a novel by Doris Lessing, the author of The Grass is Singing (1950) a novel I read, and enjoyed, recently.

Roz and Lil have been best friends for as long as they can remember and through the years they have never moved out of their lovely coastal mansions. Years pass and they are both married but they spend all their time together and watching each other's son. After Lil's husband died when Ian was a young boy, Tom's father leave for a job opportunity in Sydney, leaving the now grown up sons with their mothers. Ian feels increasingly attracted to Roz and they end up sleeping together a fact that Tom discovers one night and through pure revenge or feelings finally able to be expressed, he goes to Lil and sleep with her. The two best friends will have to confront each other and decide if the situation can go on and if so how to stick together through the hardships that such relationships can impose.

The setting is beautiful, the surf, the waves, the ocean, the sand and of course the sun makes this idyllic place a perfect scenery for the unveiling of this unconventional story of relationships. What is interesting in the topic is not so much the relationships, even though they are the prime topic, but the way these mothers approach morality, try to cope with their own age, their happiness that seems so volatile and how to remain a mother while having your son's best friend as a lover.

These two mothers (one alternative title is "Perfect Mothers") are the most in depth characters and have to carry the film through. The actresses are both talented and stunning which helps the movie evolve a lot. I have to say that most of the events in the film seemed irrelevant and they could have been stripped down to only the beach, the sea and those four characters. The movie does not judge and that is something I enjoyed, the viewer witnesses facts, feelings and arguments but he/she is left to decide what to think of them. With that being said, the movie fails to capture the attention at times and as I mentioned earlier, the events in everyone's life seem pretty irrelevant. Even a marriage appears bland in the midst of all that. The dialogues are good, but possibly not as good as you would expect in a novel adaptation. All in all, we really get the feeling that the movie is all about "sea, sex and sun".

I liked: Robin Wright and Naomi Watts. Scenery. Morality and normality.

I disliked: A simple story focusing on a very few things but to great lengths. Does not leave a particular taste.

60/100
The best part is that it is refreshing to see the gender roles reversed with having older women with a younger lover.

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