At the age of 29, Adaline survives a car accident. From that moment on, she never ages a day. While that may sound appealing to anyone older than 29, Adaline finds it a lonely existence. There is no one to grow old with because she is not growing old.
As she begins to make peace with the idea of letting herself fall in love at last, she runs into an old flame, played by both Harrison Ford and Anthony Ingruber, who pulls off an amazing younger version of Ford.
The Age of Adaline is beautifully filmed, beautifully peopled, beautifully set in beautiful homes, and most especially beautifully costumed. That might make it entertainment enough for some of us (myself included).
Blake Lively plays Adaline with old-fashioned glamour, invoking the film stars of the 1940s. Adaline holds back from everyone to keep her secret safe. So when she finally becomes romantically involved with a young man named Ellis, she doesn’t really let him know who she is.
Unfortunately viewers find themselves in the same position. We don’t know who she really is, aside from her mysterious, endless youth. And therefore we find it a little difficult to care very deeply about what happens to her.
Between that obstacle and the heavy-handed, film noir narration that offers some scientific nonsense about how this all happened to her, the movie isn’t what it could be. With the opportunity to explore mortality, loss, and what passing time means to one human being, it just doesn’t live up to its potential.
The film is a string of images that are lovely to behold, built on an interesting premise. And it should start a new wave of vintage fashions. But try as it might, it’s not likely to make you all that much more thankful for your latest grey hair or wrinkle. (Lionsgate)