There is something kind of wonderful about ‘The Age of Adaline’. Is it an over the top fable about something that makes little logical sense? Sure, but that hardly matters. This is not really a fantasy tale in the traditional sense. This film only uses its fantastical element as a vehicle to explore the importance of love and death. Which are pretty much the most important things in the world. So, you can’t really fault it there, can you?
The fantastical element (if you know nothing about the film) is that a 29 year old woman named Adaline Bowman (a lovely Blake Lively) is struck by lightning during a crash crash in 1937 and stops aging. When the government catches on to her immortality, Adaline is forced to live the rest of her life constantly running and never committing. This means she hardly ever sees her daughter, never stays in one place for to long, and has to always run if she ever falls in love. In other words, she is a slave to her own immortality.
Then she meets someone in late 2014 that begins to change things. The young mans name is Ellis (Michiel Huisman) and is quite persistently charming. He is also infatuated with Adaline and will stop at nothing to be with her. Eventually he wins her over and the movie leads us toward a weekend with his parents that is truly the heart of the film. It is in this weekend that Adaline (who now goes by Jenny) meets Ellis’s father and everything begins to change.
Ellis’s father, William (played wonderfully by Harrison Ford), turns out to be one of Adaline’s long lost loves and the one man in her near 70 years of immortality to nearly claim her hand in marriage. I’d like to embellish beyond that point, but it would be giving away too much. Let’s just say that this encounter is quite a beautiful and moving turn in this film. It also changes everything.
There are certainly little issues with ‘The Age of Adaline’ that keep it from being anything groundbreaking or unforgettable. Mostly, it’s the way the film seems to concentrate so directly on romantic love at the expense of other important pieces of the life puzzle. Yet, it would be silly of me to dismiss a movie like this simply because it doesn’t knock it out of the park. It’s a handsome looking film with a lot to respect and a great big heart at its core. That’s enough to give it a shot.