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Movie Review: The Age Adaline - A Curious Case Of Misguided Ambition

Age Of Adaline Final poster

Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Starring: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman and Harrison Ford

Some ideas are just bad. No matter how much you believe that they will work they never will. Age Of Adaline is like one those ideas. While everyone involved in the film seems confident that they are in an Oscar award winning film it just never gets over the main premise. Age Of Adaline tries to emulate old holywood romances and at least in the look, feel and tone it gets it right. The big concept and character development fall flat. Any thinking person will see that the story is contrived and ultimately pointless.

Blake Lively stars as Adaline a woman who after a car accident in the 1920s mysteriously stops aging altogether. This is explained away in a "sciencey" sounding voice over that really makes zero sense at all. That wouldn't really be problem though because any movie with a big concept will have that moment where you must suspend disbelief and just go with it. The problem with Age Of Adaline is that the concept doesn't lead to any logical story development. Instead of gaining any happiness from being an ageless beauty Adaline spends most of her time alone. She constantly changes her identity so no one will find out her secret. She can't bring herself to have any real close relationships, knowing that in the end it will lead to loss and heartbreak.

Since most of movie is set in present day that means that Adaline while appearing young is supposed to have the knowledge and wisdom of someone almost 100 years old. Surprisingly Blake Lively does quite well in carrying her scenes. It is very hard to believe that given 100 years time Adaline would not have matured enough to have a real relationship though. The whole thing is just a contrivance to keep her away from her true love. Enter Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) who meets Adaline at a party and falls in love from the minute he sees her. Even though he only gets her name, he uses that to track her down at work and later at her apartment. Of course this being a movie, he eventually gets a date and the police are never called. I guess it doesn't hurt that he is handsome and rich.

To add more drama to the film their is a surprise twist involving Ellis' dad who is played by Harrison Ford. Although Ford does admirably in the role the whole thing is incredibly dumb. It's one of those "coincidences" that only seem to happen in movies. The whole sub-plot seems to have been added to create more fake inner turmoil for poor Adaline.

Age Of Adaline tries desperately to have some sort of  message about love, loss and life but ends up being just another ambitious but poorly thought out hollywood film.
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