"I'm callin' on you 'cause I can't do it myself / To me you're like a brother, so be my mother lover." Try not to think of "Motherlover" by The Lonely Island when you're viewing "Adore." You probably shouldn't fight it. Just give in and accept it. "Adore" is similar in the sense that the characters give in to their urges despite knowing what they're doing is wrong.
Childhood friends Roz (Robin Wright) and Lil (Naomi Watts) have spent nearly their entire lives living next to each other and have become closer than sisters because of it. Now approaching middle age, their sons Tom (James Frecheville) and Ian (Xavier Samuel) have become grown men. But as Roz's husband Harold (Ben Mendelsohn) gets a promotion that sends him to Sydney, she finds herself giving into temptation with Lil's son Ian which in turn leads to Lil doing the same with Roz's son Tom.
"Adore" seems to try way too hard to be captivating, which results in an extremely bland film overall. It kicks off the depression early as you see Tom and Ian as young boys during the funeral for Lil's husband where you see Ian taking it harder than anyone else. The method in which the film portrays a transition in time is extremely fluid and effective whether it's passing from the side of someone's head to the other or the crashing of ocean waves.
The film may take a little too much pride in being a drama, as well. Tom's reaction to seeing his mom come out of Ian's room early in the morning is extremely childish and it's remarkable that these characters still choose to act on it. There's this underlying theme that questions the morals of the behavior of Roz, Lil, Tom, and Ian; what the boundaries are, their limitations, and when they should stop. If you can get past the "Are we lesbians?" conversations between Roz and Lil, there's also a side story of Lil having an admirer in a co-worker named Saul (Gary Sweet) while the film touches on the opportunities men as young as Tom and Ian may run into despite being in an intimately passionate relationship. While new doors will continue to open, others will have to close to walk through them.
Whether you fall for the temptation found in "Adore" or find yourself left with the desire to break a surfboard over the head of each deserving cast member, there's really no arguing that "Adore" is nothing more than a glorified chick flick. If it wasn't for brief nudity, sexual content, and continuous adult language, the film would be a perfect fit for the Lifetime network.
"Adore" is able to capture the indecisive nature of human desire rather effortlessly, but it's as if the drama makes that indecisiveness unbearable. You find yourself wishing these characters would just stay together rather than force themselves to live a normal life because society frowns upon them doing something taboo. It'd be like telling a vampire to get a tan or advising a dung beetle not to roll or eat poo.
“Adore” is neither disturbing or interesting as it's nothing more than two mothers sleeping with each other's sons, questioning their actions, and then continuing to do so without much remorse for the consequences.