Romanticism. So this is about a young woman who should have died in a car accident during the early 1900’s (Blake Lively). She crashed into a lake, her heart slowed to stop, and then she was struck by lightning. This not only resuscitated her a la a defibrillator, but it also made it so she no longer has the ability to age. This makes her love life more complicated than most in the 21st century, being that she’s in her 100’s, but looks 24. I don’t like calling any movie a chick flick, because it seems so derogatory due to negative connotations placed by society; while romantic movies are typically geared more towards women than men, it seems like a major put-down to put this label on a film. That said, one should not be mistaken here: I do believe that women will likely stand a far better chance at connecting with this than men.
This is a movie type that you see every couple of years: romance that transcends science-fiction. In most recent memory, there is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Time Traveler’s Wife. Where Benjamin Button has that excellence that is David Fincher’s direction, this is a bit lacking in that department. Not that this is even bad film; it’s an intriguing enough premise with this unique plot element, and while this does have some voiceover narration, it is well-done in a way that grabs your attention. The problem that I ran into is that I didn’t really buy Lively as this 100-year-old woman. Really, she just struck me as a woman who has seen some stuff, but I don’t think she has any of the wisdom that someone who has been on this Earth for as long as she has been should have. To be fair, this is a very tall order to fill, but I feel that the entire film hinges on whether or not you believe her as an elderly twenty year old, and I, personally, never did.
Where The Age of Adaline did win big points with me is with the introduction of Harrison Ford’s character in the third act. He is the most inspired I’ve seen him in years, and he brings a lot to the table, being that one character from Adaline’s past who is able to recognize her in a very precarious situation. His performance did bring me back around on this a bit, but is it enough for me to give this a recommendation? If this is your genre, then sure, check it out. For myself, I ultimately have to go middle of the road on this one.
The Age of Adaline (2015) ***
– Critic for Hire