Two out of five kernels
If you’ve ever thought that not aging would be great, “Age of Adaline” shows that not only is it a bad idea for life, but also as a film concept.
Adaline (Blake Lively) is completely normal until an automobile accident causes her to never age another day. Now she is constantly changing her identity and always on the move, until — you guessed it — she falls in love with some hottie who makes her question whether she should stay and really live.
The story doesn’t add anything new to the genre, whatever genre that is. It’s predictable and feels as long as Adaline’s life. Predictable can be OK if it explains itself in short order, but “Age of Adaline” takes too long and there are too many rabbit trails before the inevitable comes.
One of the film’s biggest annoyances is the narration. The narrator is a cross between Wes Anderson’s deadpan tone and the scientific explanations of a PBS NOVA documentary. The narrator coolly tells the science or the history of what’s happening to Adaline in a matter-of-fact tone, making it sound like it’s serious; ignoring the fact that it’s a story of a person who doesn’t age. Something that unreal can’t be taken as seriously as this film takes itself.
The character of Adaline is fairly interesting. She’s smart, she knows lots of languages — and of course, history. And, oh yeah, she’s really pretty. All those qualities are enough to compel Ellis (Michiel Huisman), the boy, to fall head over heels after 20 minutes.
Ellis is nice, rich, persistent and good-looking, which is all Adaline needs to fall for a man after saying no for 100 years. There is nothing from these characters to make the story interesting, which means there’s nothing that convinces you they could and should fall in love with each other.
Although an interesting idea, “Age of Adaline” lacks real characters, which makes the story not only unrealistic — as real as a story of an ageless person can be — but also exceeding uneventful. The only thing “Age of Adaline” has going for it is that Hollywood has finally made a film that views aging in a positive manner. Aside from that, if you’ve seen the trailer, that’s all you need.