Movie Review: “The Age of Adaline” – Corny and Awkward

Written by Caitlin Cooper May 23, 2015

the age of adaline

Irregular aging and immortality have been explored again and again in film; it seems to be a topic of endless fascination, but nothing really new has been brought to the table. “The Age of Adaline” is the first film about eternal life this year, and it stands out from the current crowd of countless comedies and action films. As one of the only dramas currently on the big screen, it kind of makes you have high hopes (not to mention it has an interesting trailer). Unfortunately, “The Age of Adaline” suffers from a very weak script, and not even the talented cast can save it.

“The Age of Adaline” tells the story of Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively), a young woman born in 1908 who miraculously stopped aging after a freak accident. She spends years on the run, hiding her real identity. She spends years alone, never getting too close to anyone. But after years of running from life, she meets a man named Ellis (Michiel Huisman). Being with him will force Adaline to confront the past, and give her a second chance at truly living.

“All these years you’ve lived, but you’ve never had a life.”

“The Age of Adaline” is meant to be a sweeping romantic film, but honestly? The romance didn’t do anything for me. At first, Ellis seems like yet another man hitting on Adaline – who calls herself Jenny -, but then he begins manipulating her into dates and finding out her address when she doesn’t return his calls. I’m pretty sure that’s stalking, buddy. Because the romance began in such a creepy manner, I couldn’t root for it like I was meant to. And they progress from bad jokes to “I love you” too quickly to be realistic. The most interesting part of the film is when Adaline meets Elli’s father, William (Harrison Ford), who happens to be a person from Adaline’s past. In fact, William and Adaline were in love, but Adaline was too afraid to make a life with him because of her secret. That love story is much better than the one between Adaline and Ellis. Unfortunately, this sub-plot doesn’t come up until well into “The Age of Adaline”. As a character, Adaline is pretty great. She’s caring, incredibly smart, and it’s easy to root for her to find happiness after all this time. The ending was actually kind of good. But one good sub-plot, two good characters, and a good resolution aren’t enough to make a film good. Also, that narrating in the trailer? Yeah, the whole film is narrated that way. I felt like I was watching a documentary, not a film. And the narrator often describes things the audience has already figured out. Basically, this film talks down to audiences like we’re all too stupid to understand any subtlety or implications. It kind of ruined the end resolution, too. Myself and other audience members were laughing at how ridiculous the narrating is.

the age of adaline

While I may think the script of “The Age of Adaline” is sorely lacking quality, the acting is not lacking. Lively really flourishes in this mature role. She carries herself differently, and speaks with such calmness, grace, and maturity. It’s a complete departure from her character on “Gossip Girl”, and she carries the film so well. Huisman is a good actor, I just think his character is a creep for 50% of the film. Ford does so well as the “near miss” past happy ending for Adaline. He’s emotional and compelling.

“I’m tired of running.”

Don’t get me wrong, there are some parts of “The Age of Adaline” that I liked, like the acting, some of the characters, and one of the sub-plots. But is that enough to make the film truly good? Not in my opinion. The film is built on weak foundation, and isn’t interesting until well into the run-time. Maybe you’ll like this film. Maybe you won’t mind that it’s a slow start with awkward narrating and corny lines. But it sure wasn’t my cup of tea.

My Rating: 4.5/10

the age of adaline

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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