If there is one thing Twilight and Doctor Who has taught us, it is that films and television series about immortal humans are certain to appeal to the masses.
The Age of Adaline, the latest film from Lee Toland Krieger, avoids vampires and time travel and simply tells the story of a woman who does not age. An interesting concept, yes, but unfortunately the film is not as timeless as its leading lady, in fact it is more forgettable than anything. The movie follows the life of Adaline, a woman born in 1908 who becomes eternally young following the events of a car accident. Every ten years Adaline changes her name, residence and occupation to avoid revealing her secret of everlasting youth. Sadly, those around her grow, age and die while she remains the same. Her life becomes rather monotonous and melancholy as she refrains from getting close to anyone. Things become interesting, however, when she meets a young man named Ellis at a New Year’s Eve party. They go on a few dates and she eventually meets his parents. Lo and behold Ellis’s father, William, is an old boyfriend of Adaline’s. William recognizes Adaline and of course learns her secret. Adaline is then faced with a decision, to run away from Ellis as she has done with past lovers or to tell him her secret.
The film is not as romantic or poignant as the trailer would have one believe. It’s actually rather slow and melodramatic and consists mostly of Adaline mourning the loss of her dog and reminiscing on her past life events. Adaline and Ellis have a rather turbulent relationship as Adaline attempts to run away on several occasions, while Ellis patiently awaits her return. Aside from a few flashbacks of young William and Adaline, the film functions more so as a commentary on society’s obsession with eternal youth and beauty than it does as a memorable romantic drama. Adaline and Ellis’ relationship is not well defined and the film ends before we grow to believe that they are actually in love. Cinematically speaking, the film is absolutely stunning. Set in San Francisco, the film has a unique look and feel and is on par with 2008’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Angus Strathie’s costumes are equally as stunning and are perhaps the only thing in the film that would allow one to believe that Adalaine was actually born in the early 20th century.
Blake Lively (Gossip Girl) portrays Adaline. A little wooden at times, Lively certainly conveys Adaline’s heartbreak but that’s perhaps the only emotion she conveys well. But, then again, when one is as stunning as Lively, who says you have to be a stellar actress? Michiel Huisman (Wild, World War Z) portrays Adaline’s love-interest, Ellis. Huisman is not your typical hunky, Nicholas Sparks’ white knight, in fact he more so resembles the hipster love child of Eric Bana and James Mcavoy. He plays the part well, but then again his main purpose in the film is to pine over Blake Lively and not much else. The highlight of the film’s cast would be Harrison Ford, who portrays William. While American audiences are used to seeing Ford star in action flicks, it was refreshing to be reminded that Ford is actually a very talented actor. He beautifully conveys the heartbreak of a man who lost the love of his life to once again see her with someone else. Ellen Bursteyn (Interstellar) also shines in her small role as Adaline’s daughter, Flemming.
Bottom line: For those who prefer sappy, romantic dramas, The Age of Adaline is sure to please. However, do not look to this film for anything more than two hours of melodramatic fluff.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Mallory Delchamp is a writer, model, and performer living in Manhattan. You can routinely read her film and music reviews here on Pop-Break and you can also check out her work on zumic.comand nytheatreguide.com. A social media and pop culture enthusiast, Mallory also enjoys musical theatre, superhero films, and drinking coffee. You can visit Mallory at her website, www.mallorydelchamp.com