<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Lee Toland Krieger. Starring Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn, Kathy Baker, Amanda Crew
The Age of Adaline is a film that makes you age by leaps as you sit through its pointless story and tired flashbacks.
Film’s that have narrators explaining what has happened, what had happened and what may happen can never be that good. The narrator here – Hugh Ross – tells us about how Adaline (Blake Lively) had a car accident in 1937 and a combination of freezing water and a lightning bolt gave her superhuman genes that never let her age a day beyond 29. Along the way she meets men and leaves them, changes identities and has a daughter who grows older than her (Ellen Burstyn). Then she falls in love and meets a man who she used to love and… that’s basically it really.
The story unfolds pedantically trying to provoke emotions with beautiful shots of Adaline and the countryside and her reminiscing about her life in different time periods. And 75 years later, still looking like 29, she meets a man called Ellis who falls for her (Michiel Huisman) and their (boring) romance brings confusion to her since she plans to shift again even though no one is hunting her down for not ageing!
Ellis’s father William (Harrison Ford) was one of Adaline’s former lovers and well what you imagine plays out between them too.
What’s wrong with The Age of Adaline is that there’s absolutely no substance to the romance or intrigue with her fountain of youth gift. There’s little conflict or challenge offered up. And the crowning glory of her decades of living and learning is that she can win at Trivial Pursuit!
There were so many more interesting ways the writers and director could have dealt with the issues that Adaline would have faced. But they don’t. Instead, the film drags on trying to touch our hearts but just makes us shuffle in our seats and wonder how much we’ve aged watching this horribly dull film. Blake Lively is anything but her surname. Her graph during the movie is a flat line. And Harrison Ford does his usual mumbling and fumbling, which has become as old as he has. Only Kathy Baker and Ellen Burstyn manage to give memorable performances.
The Age of Adaline is a terrible film and I’m surprised that a classic like Tomorrowland has scored less than this one on Rotten Tomatoes. Go watch Tomorrowland instead, trust me.
PS: The fact that Adaline chooses to replace her dog with an exact replica every time he dies is not loving, it’s just plain morbid!