The Age of Adaline (Lee Toland Krieger, 2015)
Oh the horror of having to stay stuck in Blake Lively’s twenty-nine year old body for the rest of time. I don’t know about you, but that prospect is pretty much my idea of LIVING THE DREAM. The Age of Adaline, however, looks at the downside of such a stroke of luck.
In 1935, at age twenty-nine, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) is struck by lightning after her car plunges into a river, rendering her ageless because SCIENCE. Or, in this case: pseudo-science. She spends the next seventy-plus years fleeing from one town to the next in an effort to hide her secret. Of course this means she also has to flee any lovers she finds along the way, and see her daughter (Ellen Burstyn) grow up into an octogenarian while she remains beautiful Blake Lively. In present day San Francisco, Adaline – now under the alias Jenny – meets Ellis (Michiel Huisman). Though she tries to distance herself from any potential suitors after earlier heartbreak in the sixties, she is soon smitten, and uttering lame remarks such as “Tell me something I can hold on to forever and never let go”.
Fortunately, the corny moments are few and far between, and though the story is incredibly simple it remains engaging, sweet, and beautiful to look at. Blake Lively’s hair and costumes are to die for, and while Adaline adjusts her style to meet current fashions, she retains an authentic vintage look. Once again I find myself insanely jealous of Blake Lively’s wardrobe department. And face. And body.
It seems unfair that Blake Lively routinely gets written off as a non-talent simply because her claim to fame was Gossip Girl (actually a decent show until it ran a season too long). She is simply a joy to watch on screen, and though the notion of her actually being one hundred and seven years old is pretty preposterous, she succeeds in selling this point. Michiel Huisman on the other hand is underwhelming and no match for Lively. His casting is a puzzlement. Harrison Ford (in a role I won’t spoil) is vastly superior.
The Age of Adaline could perhaps be dubbed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Lite. It’s a simpler tale, but one that shares an element of magic relating to the aging process. It reaches a predictable conclusion, doing little to redefine the genre, but it’s magical enough to enjoy.