Film review: The Age of Adaline

age of adaline

Occasionally, there are specific moments during a film’s narrative which force you into decision-making. A fork in the road, if you will. They’re often semi-ridiculous and you have to choose to either go with them or give up on the movie there and then. The Age of Adaline has one such event. Without giving too much of the plot away, our protagonist, Adaline, has a mysterious near-fatal accident which, as is explained with some faux scientific voiceover mumbo-jumbo, means she ceases to age. At all. And it is at this point where you must decide, to go with it, or not?

The best thing to do is just to indeed accept this far-fetched conceit. Why not? After all, the film is often quite sweet with a few genuinely funny moments in it.  Blake Lively gives a charming, gentle performance as Adaline Bowman, who stays young and, let’s face it, really hot, for almost eight decades.

Adaline leads a solitary life and has to change names/move states every few years so that people don’t start to question why she never ages. Meanwhile, her daughter becomes an old woman.

Adaline’s affliction also means that she can never find love (to be honest though, I fail to see why. If your super sexy girlfriend said to you “Oh btw, I can’t age. I’ll look this this forever, while you get steadily older,” wouldn’t that be the absolute dream! Surely your reply would be something along the lines of, “So, wait, you’re going to look this hot for the next 60 years? I’ve hit the jackpot!”). Anyway, facetiousness aside, the narrative brushes upon lots of intriguing ideas, but the film decides to land heaviest on the love aspect.

And that’s where Michiel Huisman comes in. These Game of Throners are everywhere at the moment, aren’t they? We literally reviewed a film with Kit Harington in it yesterday and nowHuisman has turned up, as the potential love interest. Will he be the man to finally win Adaline’s heart? He’s handsome, funny, nice, caring and filthy rich. What do you think?

Then Harrison Ford appears and all hell breaks lose.

It’s a great performance from Ford, as it is from the two leads, who work their way through a script which is sometimes a bit clunky but always engaging enough. It’s hard to shake the feeling that this interesting idea could have been taken in a different, perhaps more challenging direction than a sweet love story, but still, The Age of Adaline is a pleasing enough distraction for a couple of hours.

bobby townsend


Review by Bobby Townsend. The Age of Adaline is out now.