Age of Adaline (Lionsgate, PG-13)

Age of Adaline is not a film to buy and re-watch, but it is definitely worth seeing.

 

 

At 29 years of age, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has an accident resulting in a near-magical phenomenon that renders her ageless. She spends decades refusing to form close relationships until she meets Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman), a man who challenges the way she lives her life.

The premise is not great, nor is the explanation around Adaline’s inability to age, but I still very much enjoyed this film. Blake Lively brought so many levels to her character that I was absolutely blown away. There was not a second of doubt that Adaline was born in 1908. Even when acting alongside Ellen Burstyn, who plays Adaline’s daughter, Flemming, who has aged well beyond Adaline, Lively delivers the characters’ age difference on an emotional level that creates the truth the audience needs.

I like how, beyond being a love story, Age of Adaline addresses history. It makes me nostalgic for drive-in movies and first dates that were not arranged over social media, even though I was not around when those things were prevalent.

Age of Adaline explores the most basic human needs—of course love—but more generally, human connection. Friendship. Family. Life is to be experienced and shared with others. We are here to make memories with one another, and with today’s social media it is easier to preserve those memories, but we become more concerned with sharing the memory than actually enjoying the time. This film is a great reminder to cherish those close to us and go after what we truly want in life.

However, I was also very uncomfortable during the majority of the film, and I am not sure whether or not that was the filmmakers’ intent. The story takes an interesting turn in the middle to a very awkward place. As far as the plot goes, everything makes sense, and I certainly understand why writers J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz took the path that they did, but still the story forced me to constantly remind myself that I was okay with it. It was difficult to root for the characters at one point because of the way things were playing out, but it all worked out in the end.

This leads me to my next point, if you can’t guess how the film ends from reading the synopsis or watching the trailer, you can definitely guess at the halfway point of the movie. So the end is predictable, but I won’t say that this fact takes away from the film. I can’t think of a better way to end it that would have satisfied the audience, so I appreciate that the story is told in a way that, while you may know where it’s going, each scene still propels the story forward. There are new characters and new emotions and new elements of the story introduced that keep it interesting.

Age of Adaline is not a film to buy and re-watch, but it is definitely worth seeing. It’s very funny, which I did not expect, and the comedic relief is much needed for the uncomfortable moments. Age of Adaline is much more about the characters and the self-reflection than the story. If you’re wary about seeing this, look at it like a sci-fi film to begin with, where maybe the premise doesn’t make sense but you accept it as truth, and then allow yourself to really focus on the character development. The actors have some really amazing moments and should make you leave the theater re-evaluating the way you choose to live your life. | Samantha LaBat

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