Directed by Lee Toland Krieger
Starring Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn
When snow meets hypothermia meets electricity in The Age of Adaline, it always results in miracles. One such chance encounter leaves Adaline (Lively) with the gift of never ageing. However, that’s not the problem with The Age of Adaline — not at all. For explanation for the science of it has been conveniently left for “2035”.
It’s the other confluences that leave you cringing. Adaline in her elaborate clothes, hair and shoes who goes mostly effortlessly from 1928 to 2015 acquiring forged identities, and living comfortably. Adaline who understands Italian, speaks Portuguese, and reads Braille for pleasure. Adaline who acquires a first boyfriend “from Stanford”, is hit upon by several, and whose second love (Huisman) turns out to be a “dotcom millionaire” who now only does charity, who owns this apartment that he is “fixing myself”, whose window opens out onto a dancing class with old couples, and who serves hotdogs for food. Plus, he has a sister who hates all things telecom as “she is from Berkeley”. Adaline who excels at Trivial Pursuit and who loves all things history. Adaline who has an understanding daughter now in her 80s (Burstyn) who runs to her side every time the mother, still in her 20s, wants to see her, especially with love advice.
The only thing unchanging in Adaline’s life is her dogs, who remain of the same kind and colour. She has an album full of photographs of them.
There is a hint here of the melancholy of never ageing, as every thing and every one you love are lost one by one. However, Krieger is too busy bathing his wooden heroine in sentimental light. Lively just doesn’t have it in her to pull off the one role, forget the many expected of her here.
The old people around her, especially Burstyn with her bursts of uncertainty, shine in comparison.