The Age of Adaline ties in with the fantasies of most adults to stay young forever. There is an amusing “scientific” explanation for how this happens in the movie that will make you smile. Although most of the film is predictable, it is fun to play with the idea of the kinds of repercussions a person would have to deal with should it happen, and the choices one might make.
Without going into the details, let’s just say that Adaline (Lively) does not age, and she makes the choice to keep it a secret, stay on the move to avoid detection, and avoid long-term relationships. This means she can only see her daughter Flemming (Burstyn) occasionally, and as the years go by Flemming looks more like her grandmother than her daughter. But also through the years, Adaline becomes more depressed and lonely, and when her path crosses that of a persistent Ellis (Huisman), she is sorely tempted to change her course, especially when Flemming urges her to indulge herself and grab onto some happiness.
I could have done without two major coincidences toward the end of the story that the writers J. Mills Goodloe and Salvadore Paskowitz inserted, which made me think it was merely a way to have the story end on a good note. A more interesting conclusion would have been to simply follow Adaline and Ellis continuing on the journey as it was set up in the beginning.
Blake Lively captures well evasiveness and sidestepping the truth when Adaline is confronted with the curiosity of new and old acquaintances. Her own beauty makes it plausible when others seem to be awestruck by Adaline’s appearance. At the same time, Adaline can’t resist showing off her memory and intelligence when she gets a chance, and Lively does this just as well. Huisman’s natural charm and attractiveness make him an ideal love interest for the main character, and he maintains a good balance between genuine caring and playful flirting. Ford and Burstyn as his parents are up to their usual standards of quality.
Director Lee Toland Krieger keeps the film moving in a light-hearted, entertaining manner, and although the film might not appeal to everyone, it certainly will to those who enjoy romantic fancies. A major strong point is musician Rob Simonson’s soundtrack, which gives us a sampling of music from early 20th Century (Ella Fitzgerald) through the ‘60’s and ‘70’s (Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane) to 2010 (Stephen Lu).
An interesting romantic fantasy.
Grade: C+ By Donna R. Copeland