Blake Lively may have seemed to be an interesting choice to carry a movie, playing the title character in The Age of Adaline. The former Gossip Girl star has never struck us as the huge movie star type, but there is something about her personality meets performance in The Age of Adaline that is simply perfect.
Lively plays Adaline, a woman born at the dawn of the 20th century who has a freak accident in her early 20s that causes her body’s ability to age to completely cease. Some of you are thinking, “That would be awesome!” Sure, it would have its benefits, but as shown in The Age of Adaline, there are massive amounts of complications that come with that gift that make it more of a curse.
Her daughter will age. Everyone she loves and cares about will age, and eventually die. Plus, how will she even explain her appearance to people? There’s no scientific reason for it. She could even find herself in a government lab being experimented upon.
Adaline continually changes her identity and moves around frequently. She tries to never get too close to anyone, for fear of being exposed and, frankly, hurt.
Director Lee Toland Krieger mostly keeps the story in present day, with flashbacks utilized effectively to fill in the blanks in the story and give us some history to what Adaline has gone through in this last century.
As the film’s narrator says, a “moment of weakness” leads to a massive change in her life and it involves meeting a man, Ellis (Michiel Huisman). With her daughter’s (Ellen Burstyn) encouragement, she lets herself fall for him, but as would be expected – it leads to complications. Credit to the screenwriters, they are of the most surprising variety -- and involve a man named William Jones, who is Ellis’ father (played by Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer scene stealer Harrison Ford).
The Age of Adaline is cute, and mostly works throughout because of the fantastical feel of the film. It has a fairy tale presence to it that especially is effective given the landscape of San Francisco that largely serves as our locale. There’s a rich history of the city that is frequently touched upon in the film that is seen through Adaline’s eyes, but also through those she meets who have a much shorter experience with the Bay Area.
Our The Age of Adaline review finds that for those who adore the romance genre of film, this is a sweep you off your feet type of flick -- even if it is a tad simplistic. It also raises many questions about life, love and how one would live life if there was no expiration date. But mostly, what is the biggest surprise of all in the journey of Adaline is the woman who plays her. Lively turns in a performance that is about as pitch perfect as is needed -- for the character and for the film itself.