Age Of Adaline Review

The Plot

After a lightning bolt hits her during a fatal car crash, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) becomes immune to the ravages of time. However, her invincibility hinders her life more than it helps, making it difficult to grow attached to anyone. But when she meets Ellis (Michiel Huisman) one New Years Eve, an old flame from the past arrives too…

The Good

Blake Lively brings a much needed air of grace and elegance to the titular character of Adaline and makes you believe throughout her performance, that she has indeed lived through all the years that Adaline has. Lively brings an attitude that fits perfectly with the role, like she’s from another era, yet still knows how to blend in with the times.

While the story brings instant recollections of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button mixed with the romantic melodrama of Nickolas Spark, it still stands on its own well enough. Thanks mainly to Lively, but also in part to Harrison Ford, who for the first time in a good while seems less determinedly grumpy to be back on screen. He’s doesn’t seem too happy either,  but he certainly appears happier than we’ve been used to from his last few films. Perhaps JJ Abrams has something to do with it…

The Bad

Though the set-up is interesting, the fact that it takes Michiel Huisman’s Ellis Brown to change Adaline’s entire perspective on her life feels a bit too out of synch. There’s no denying Huisman’s looks, but for years Adaline has been avoiding any attachments other than that of her daughter, changing identity every few years to escape any emotions. But apparently all it takes is a couple of dates with Ellis and she’s smitten! Had more time been spent seeing their romance blossom, it might have actually worked.

Then there’s the, at times, irritating addition of the deadpan narrator who takes us through the story in the opening, leaves for about an hour and pops back another couple of times before the end credits. While the opening was understandable, as he explains matter-of-factly, exactly how Adaline’s invincibility comes to be, his reappearance is somewhat jarring.

Finally, towards its third act, Age of Adaline also starts to unroll a storyline which feels better suited for an episode of the Jeremy Kyle show, albeit a much more elegant one. While we can’t delve into too much detail on this without spoiling it, suffice to say, you’ll understand when you get there…

The Ugly Truth

Age of Adaline is a typical romantic drama with a nice, slightly under established premise to it, which works well. What doesn’t work well certainly doesn’t ruin it completely. It’s not an instant classic but it does its job well enough.

Review by Johnny Ellis

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