Adore (Anne Fontaine, 2013)

With little left to describe it, Adore focuses on a pair of lifelong friends’ succumbing to their respective carnal desires, the objects of which just so happen to be each others’ sons. Living almost idly in a coastal Australian suburb, circumstantial evidence would suggest that this – coupled with limited interaction with others – serves as a perfect formula for such an unmitigated disaster, a lack of subtlety plaguing an equal lack of context preceding it. Suggested inevitability aside, what significance does this interaction between key individuals carry with it? Can everyone rebound from what they’ve burdened themselves with?

To field my own two-part question fully and honestly, Adore‘s sheer abundance of awkward and misguided substance renders existential woes for naught for all involved. Clumsily implemented if agreeably tasteful in its presentation, the relations each character has with his or her corresponding partner feel contrived, lacking in definitive intentions as such and are generally uncomfortable. Do the central relationships provide for plausible conflict? Sure they do, and it’s only after the sons’ valuable bits of life-building with gals their own age that things pick up, however it’s all quite overwrought and overshadowed by the ridiculousness of the previous affairs that threaten these advancements.

Moral reprehensibility aside, I tried my best to appreciate what Adore had offer in the realm of palpable human drama but failed. As laughable rigidity and discomfort plagues the film’s initial foray into mother-on-friend territory, it becomes apparent that any stab at thematic poignancy will ultimately be thrown out the window as childlike bickering and jealousy come into play at regular intervals. Is this all a result of a strong eternal bond’s bleeding inextricably into each of the central mother’s lives? Who knows, and frankly, Adore thoroughly lacks the conviction, involvement and entertainment value needed to transform it from silly into a resonant study of human behavior and unforeseen, moreover wide-reaching consequences stemming from peculiarly poor and tawdry judgment.

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