Age of Adaline tugs at heartstrings despite lackluster actors

Sophia Ho


“From that day on, she would never age.”

Age of Adaline, starring Blake Lively, tells the story of a woman who, due to the supernatural force of being struck by lightning during a rainstorm, will never age. Permanently 29, Adaline has watched more than a century come and go. The implications of her stand-still world are explained through the fact that Adaline cannot stay in one place for more than 10 years, has raised the same breed of dog over and over again and has watched her daughter grow old and frail while she herself remains eternally youthful.

Throughout the film, Blake Lively and Harrison Ford deliver superior performances, especially compared to the lackluster acting of their costars. Meanwhile, Michiel Huisman’s performance of Adaline’s love interest is flat and uninspiring. Ford’s execution of William Jones, a man Adaline fell in love with in the 1970s but later left due to the fact that he would grow older and she would not, is heartbreaking. Lively is stunning as Adaline Bowman. Her timeless beauty and her ability to bring more to the plot than the script allows her to play the perfect picture of a woman to whom time is of no essence.

The plotline, although unique, ends up being quite predictable. With a cop-out ending and a love interest that had me grating my teeth, I already knew what would happen 40 minutes before the film was over.

The movie has two main problems. First, Adaline has been running from the world for more than 100 years. Over this period she has fallen in love multiple times, and Ellis Jones (Adaline’s most recent suitor, portrayed by Michiel Huisman), a tech billionaire, doesn’t seem remotely likeable enough for Adaline to justify deaging herself for. Although a romantic storyline, the idea of this average Joe being what makes Adaline finally try to give up immortality isn’t believable or entertaining in the slightest.

Second, Harrison Ford shines throughout this film as one of Adaline’s boyfriends from decades past, but the creepy aspect of this lies in the fact that he is the father of Ellis Jones, and has never fallen “out of love” with Adaline herself. Ford’s amazing portrayal of what could have been is almost moving enough to forget this disturbing plotline. Almost.

Although these issues cheapen the film, Age of Adaline still does a good job of telling its story by capturing the essence of each era Adaline has lived through, and adding them into her personality through her old fashioned manner of speech and vintage style of dress.

With some of the most gorgeous costume design I have ever seen, and two stunning performances, Age of Adaline is just able to overcome its predictability and narrational inconsistencies to weave the tale of Adaline’s bittersweet life. The aesthetic and feelings this movie portrays will be enjoyable to many, although some might find it a little too sweet. All in all, the Age of Adaline manages to be a success and is worth watching if you are interested in history, fashion or a predictable love story.