The Age of Adaline (PG-13) ★★★½

Blake Lively stars in "The Age of Adaline." Photo credit: Lionsgate.
Blake Lively stars in “The Age of Adaline.” Photo credit: Lionsgate.

Lively is Lovely in “The Age of Adaline”

We are constantly reiterating the phrase, “life is too short, enjoy every moment.” Our time on earth is brief and could be taken away from us at any moment. Much of our society is constantly searching for ways to stay young, whether it be consuming organic foods, relentless exercising or, getting plastic surgery. What would you do if you had the opposite issue and were suddenly granted eternal life?

This is the unique predicament that Adaline Bowman faces in The Age of Adaline. She’s astoundingly lived for almost eight decades, but is unable to age past 29 years old. Adaline, played by Blake Lively (Savages, 2012) was the first New Years baby to be born in San Francisco in 1908 and has a pleasant, simple life with her sweet and successful husband and daughter, Flemming (Ellen Burstyn, Interstellar, 2014). One evening, Adaline is driving through the winding roads of Sonoma when unexpectedly it starts snowing. She swerves off of the road into an ice-cold river and begins to drown. After a minute too long, a bolt of lighting suddenly strikes, and the electricity revives her. Her second chance at life is unlike any other as her cells have frozen her physical youth.

Years pass and friends start questioning why she hasn’t aged a bit. Before long, Adaline’s wanted by the FBI so they can study her unique situation for science. Nowhere is safe and Adaline must flee, even while Flemming is still a young girl. Adaline changes her name and address dozens of times, but refuses to get too close to anyone for fear that they will divulge her secret. The identity crisis and solitary existence truly begin ruining her life. She must decide, what’s more important – the quantity of her years or the quality of them.

This romantic drama is thoroughly enjoyable with Lively at the helm. While the fictional premise may be too outlandish for some, Lively will likely reel in naysayers with her peculiar yet striking screen presence. She’s both hot and cold, open and closed; it just depends on her company and surroundings. She’s striking during every era in which she lives, and her diction is spot on. It’s apparent that this is Lively’s breakthrough role.

Her onscreen interactions with the talented Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones, 2014-2015), Harrison Ford (The Expendables 3, 2014) and Ellen Burstyn (Flemming) are particularly worth noting. Ellis (played by Huisman) is an intelligent, charismatic philanthropist who is extremely taken by Adaline. His persistence to get to know her is endearing, but she sees it as a threat. After declining many formal date offers, Aladine reluctantly gives in and let’s just say, we rejoice when she does. Ford plays Ellis’s father, William Jones, and allows his curiosity to get the best of him as soon as he meets her. This causes strife among the family and attention is the last thing that Adaline wants to cause. His performance is memorable. Burstyn plays 60-year-old Flemming, and her scenes opposite Lively are rare and engaging. Burstyn must be subservient as the daughter even though she’s truly an elder. Meanwhile, Lively must act youthful while somewhat restraining her earned wisdom.

The dynamic relationships, stunning style, and sincere romance will tug at the heartstrings and suck you in until the end – that is both ridiculous and wonderful at the same time.

Bottom-Line? Blake Lively presents a stunning performance in her lead breakthrough role as Adaline. Harrison Ford won’t disappoint either, and some may consider this his best performance in decades. The storyline is interesting and unique, but can get silly at times. If you are not into mystical, romantic films, The Age of Adaline is not for you.

Cast: Blake Lively (Adaline Bowman), Michiel Huisman (Ellis Jones), Harrison Ford (William Jones), Ellen Burstyn (Flemming), Kathy Baker (Kathy Jones), Amanda Crew (Kikki Jones), Lynda Boyd (Regan)

Credits: Directed by Lee Toland Krieger; Written by J. Mills Goodloe, Salvador Paskowitz

Studio: Lionsgate

Run Time: 110 minutes

Jessica Aymond © April 22, 2015