Monday, September 9, 2013


In "Adore," Naomi Watts and Robin Wright play Lil and Roz, best friends since childhood who live in neighboring beach homes in Australia.

Lil is recently widowed, while Roz is in a comfortable-old-shoe marriage to drama professor Harold (Ben Mendelsohn). Each has one barely legal surf-god son, blond Ian (Xavier Samuel) and brunet Tom (James Frecheville). When Harold leaves for a plum uni position in Sydney, the four spend long insouciant days in and around the water. All's well until the night when Ian seduces Roz, whom Tom sees leaving Ian's room in the wee hours. The next night, Tom comes for Lil, tiptoeing into her bed and, the next morning, running his finger along her arm and side as she pretends still to be asleep (while wearing a form-fitting brown blouse). Soon everything's out in the open, leading to scenes of supreme erotic tension such as one at breakfast in which Ian stands up from the table and Roz asks where he's going: "To your room." Roz looks abashedly at Tom, who turns to Lil and says, "See you at yours."

Harold returns to bring Roz and Tom to Sydney, but Roz sends him on his way without them, and Lil fends off the advances of a lovestruck co-worker (Gary Sweet in a poorly written part). From time to time, Roz tries to put a stop to things, without success. (My audience laughed out loud when Wright suggested, "We have to be normal respectable people from now on.") There's a scene in which Lil sobs to Roz that she doesn't want to stop and doesn't see why they should have to. Can you imagine? One best friend telling the other she can't bear the thought of giving up sex with her friend's son? That she feels she'd "suffocate" without it? Intense.

Even after Tom marries an actress he meets at an audition (fetching Sophie Lowe) and both he and Ian have children, the movie feels like it's killing time until the mothers and sons resume their, ahem, relations. Samuel, the blond (from "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"), is pretty enough, if a bit bland. But Frecheville, the young lead from 2010's excellent "Animal Kingdom," is stunningly handsome and possessed of a quiet self-confidence that's enormously attractive. A movie of beautiful people and taboo sex can probably only be judged on whether it provides, to borrow a line from "Heathers," "shower nozzle masturbation material for weeks." In the case of "Adore," let us simply say that it may best be enjoyed in the privacy of one's home, where Paramount has contemporaneously released it on VOD. And (spoiler alert) it even has a happy ending: the wives, girlfriends and kids go away and the four of them can fuck to their hearts' content.

No comments:

Post a Comment