The Age of Adaline full movie review - An Agreeable Tale of Years and Tears
"The Age of Adaline" is a disposable but entertaining chick flick with a fantasy premise reminiscent of "The Twilight Zone.
" Adaline Bowman, our lovely, lithesome, long-haired heroine, would qualify as just another colorless female protagonist were it not for an accident that altered her life. Basically, she nearly died in a horrific, single-car crash. She smashed her automobile through a bridge railing during a snowstorm, and her vehicle plunged headlong into a frigid river. Miraculously, an inexplicable supernatural event occurred that saved her life. Lightning struck at a propitious moment, and the explosive electrical charge revived her like a pair of defibrillator paddles. As a result, our 29-year old heroine spends the rest of your life without physical change either to her face or her features. Nevertheless, she discovers that her immortality that makes her so singular forces her to maintain a never-ending masquerade to avoid arousing suspicion. Imagine a tragic Nicholas Sparks weepie crossed with an H.G. Wells sci-fi saga and you'll have a clue what to expect from "Celeste & Jesse Forever" director Lee Toland Krieger and his two scenarists "The Best of Me's" J. Mills Goodloe and "Nic & Tristan Go Mega Dega's" Salvador Paskowitz.
Aside from our heroine's bizarre misfortune, "The Age of Adaline" amounts to a routine melodrama about a female fugitive on the lam from reality. Our eponymous heroine denies herself love until she decides that she can live no longer without it. Other than movies such as "Green Lantern," "Savages," and "The Town," most of Blake Lively's fans remember her from her five-year stint on The CW Television Network's series "Gossip Girl" between 2007 and 2012. Tall, dark, and handsome "World War Z" actor Michiel Huisman, who also appears in the HBO mini-series "Game of Thrones," co-stars as Lively's principal love interest. Harrison Ford of "Star Wars," Ellen Burstyn of "The Exorcist," and "Jesse Stone" actress Katy Bates round out an attractive as well as appealing cast. Of course, all tearjerkers ladle out heaps of hokum, but the supernatural element of temporary immortality adds a luster of curiosity to this otherwise lightweight, 112-minute, PG-13 rated theatrical release. Basically, you're going to cry no matter what happens, while director Lee Toland Krieger generates ample suspense about Adaline's predicament despite the encumbrance of Hugh Ross's loquacious narrator. You'll wish this guy would shut up because he takes the mystery out of the narrative.
Initially, Adaline Bowman's live began without an anomaly. She grew up, got married, and raised a daughter. For the record, Adaline was born on New Year's Eve in 1908. She exchanged vows with an architect designing San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. In some fascinating flashbacks, we see what San Francisco looked like before the bridge opened. Sadly for Adaline, her architect husband dies tragically during construction of the bridge. Afterward, in 1937, Adaline's life changes inextricably when she is driving home to see her young daughter Flemming. Our heroine experiences a close brush with death, but she survives the ordeal. Everybody at one time or another has been stopped by an overzealous cop for some minor infraction. The gimlet-eyed guardian of law and order who pulls Adaline over doesn't think she is old enough to fit her driver's license description. This skeptical traffic cop asks her to bring her birth certificate to police headquarters. As a plot complication, this encounter is relatively minor. Nevertheless, it serves as the first loose pebble that precipitates an avalanche. Eventually, J. Edgar Hoover's Communistic-sniffing FBI agents get wind of Adaline. Two agents confront her in public and take her in for questioning. Our resourceful heroine manages to escape from them while they are away from their car. Adaline crawls out of the locked car by exiting through the trunk. Incredibly, she eludes Hoover's men. It is difficult to believe the otherwise tenacious FBI would allow Adaline to get away scot-free, but then this is a love story rather than a thriller.
Adaline's biggest problem occurs when she travels to England. She involves herself with an attractive young man, William Jones (Anthony Ingruber of "Avatar"), who later grows up to become a bespectacled Harrison Ford. Ingruber is a dead ringer for Ford as a twentysomething Lothario. Later, when Adaline is supposed to meet William for a date, her sharp eyes spot a box containing what she suspects is an engagement ring. Not only does she order her cabbie to keep on driving, but she also returns to America without a word to poor William. Adaline manages to hop, skip, and jump through the 1940s, 1950s, and the 1960s without reacting to any of the events during those tumultuous decades. Interestingly, she remains aloof from World War II, Vietnam, and the Kennedy Assassination. Indeed, the first time we see her, she is paying for fake identity papers. She gives the bright young man who forged her papers a heart-stopping moment when she tells him about the penalties for such felonious shenanigans. At first, he thinks she is an undercover cop, but she allays his anxiety. Finally, when she is working as a library archivist in San Francisco, Adaline encounters Ellis (Michiel Huisman) who is smitten by her beauty. Eventually, Ellis convinces Adaline to go out on a date. Afterward, Adaline lowers her guard and accompanies him on an outing in the country where Ellis' parents live. Suddenly, she discovers that her past has caught up with her again. Predictably, she takes flight, but Ellis careens off in ruthless hot pursuit.
Doesn't everybody dream about finding that special person who will complete their life? Adaline is understandably reluctant to commit herself to anybody. She is more than content to live alone in her apartment with her pet cocker spaniel. Her grown-up daughter Flemming (Ellen Burstyn of "Resurrection") struggles desperately to get her mother to take a chance on love. Although it isn't a four hankie classic, "The Age of Adaline" delivers more than enough lachrymose moments for ladies to quench their tears.