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Adore

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Andy Samberg: You thinkin what I’m thinkin?
Justin Timberlake: I’m thinkin I’m thinkin too.
Both: Slow up!
Andy Samberg: What time is it dawg?
Justin Timberlake: It’s time for a switcharoo.
Both: We both love our moms, women with grown women needs
I say we break em off
Show em how much they really mean
Cause…
I’m a Mother Lover
You’re a Mother Lover
We should f*ck each other’s mothers

They’re the lyrics from the Lonely Island song ‘Mother Lover’. Also a fairly succinct summarization of director Anne Fontaine’s “Adore”.

Granted, director Fontaine somehow manages to convince us what’s going on in the rather subdued messed-up-romances chronicle isn’t at all as gratuitously whacky as Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake suggest it to be. And though the movie is no knockout,  what with it being more pleasant than provocative, the fact that he can convince an audience this situation is actually OK – let alone dissuade them from chortling all the way through it – is quite an accomplishment.

Middle-aged foxes Naomi Watts and Robin Wright play lifelong friends Lil (Watts) and Roz (Wright), living in a beautiful stretch of beast on the Australian North Coast, who begin relationships with each other’s teenage sons (James Frecheville, Xavier Samuel).  Soon everything is out in the open, and because it just ‘feels so good’, the foursome simply agree to keep doing what they’re doing. Things get thorny when both boys start to fall for women their own age.

“Coco Before Chanel” director Fontaine, making her English-language debut here, doesn’t push too hard here, letting things swirl into the movie’s dramatic plug slowly, and that, combined with the credible, grounded performances of his very talented cast, result in something that plays less Samberg and more Franco Zeffirelli.

As good as it’s performed, not to mentioned tonally structured,  Christopher Hampton (“Dangerous Liaisons”) script prevents “Adore” from being the emotionally power-packed drama it might’ve been.  Doused in a somewhat pretentious aroma, with even the characterization’s unwelcomingly bordering on caricatures rather than real people at times, the film seems so hungry to point out that it’s telling a very important, somewhat controversial yarn but doesn’t mix the ingredients in well enough for it to taste anything but just OK.

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About Caffeinated Clint

The writer/publicist/producer who wears the editor hat on Moviehole. Favorite films include "Say Anything...", "The Hunt for Red October", "Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Die Hard", "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo", "Young Guns", "American Psycho", "Back to the Future" and the "Star Wars" series.
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