The Age of Adaline casts Blake Lively as Adaline Bowman. Born in 1908, Adaline got into an auto accident in the early 1930s. A combination of cold water and the electricity from a lightning strike turn her immortal.
When we enter her life, she’s been 29 for almost 80 years.
In that span of time, Adaline had a couple of serious loves and a daughter, but fear of discovery and a brief kidnapping by the U.S. government have kept her secretive and paranoid. Adaline routinely changes identities and is at the ID change stage when she connects with the charismatic, persistent — and rich — Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman, Wild).
Without giving too much plot away, against her better judgement, Adaline falls in love. That’s where irony steps in and her past catches up with the present.
Director Lee Toland Krieger (the totally lame Jessie & Celeste Forever), Salvador Paskowitz (writing his first major movie) and J. Mills Goodloe (who helped pen the awful Nicholas Sparks flick The Best of Me) punctuate Adaline’s life story with a series of beautifully done but eventually uninteresting flashbacks. Placed here and there in the story, they’re narrated by Hugh Ross, who also gave voice to the narrative of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
It gives the film its only movement.
Like the Goodloe’s Sparks’ flick, The Age of Adaline evolves into an uninteresting love story that crawls from the opening scenes to the end. The only positive is some of the acting. Lively and Huisman — who has trouble hiding his accent — have incredible chemistry, and it’s always nice to see old pros Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn and Kathy Baker.
Anthony Ingruber plays Ford’s character from the past and overworks the character by doing a combination of an imitation of Han Solo and Indiana Jones. It provides the film’s only humor, but the laughs are unintentional.
The Age of Adaline is an original idea done badly. That’s almost unfair. No matter how the concept of a young woman possessing immortality is done, the conclusion is the same. As the movie progresses, the interest it generates is finite.