“The Age of Adaline” is an intriguing movie, the plot centering on a young woman that has a freak accident, running her car off a bridge into the water, to be changed forever when lightning strikes the area. She quits aging. Indeed, the “age” in the title of the movie can simultaneously refer to the “age” in which she lives, which of course changes over the years, or her perennial age of 29, or both.
Blake Lively is very, very good in the role of Adaline, displaying a femininity that is still governed by a strong will, helping her to survive the trials of life over the years since she was born in 1908 in San Francisco. She has a capacity for sacrifice, even leaving her young lover, William, at a park bench with engagement ring in hand when she spots him with the ring from her seat in a Taxi cab. She doesn’t want him to have to deal with her situation.
The scenarios in the movie are fascinating, with her only child, a daughter (Ellen Burstyn), eventually overtaking her in aging. One of the most interesting plotlines involves her seeing William again years later, when she dates his son, not knowing that Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman), is his son. She goes to his parents’ home and spots William, who immediately notices Adaline, now going by the name Jenny. When William spots a scar on Adaline’s wrist, a wound he once stitched for her, he knows something out of this world is going on.
Harrison Ford is wonderful as the older William, dramatically capturing the surprise and his old feelings for Adaline when he first spots her. He also must sort through his feelings regarding his wife Kathy (Connie Jones), as they are approaching their fortieth wedding anniversary. Another intriguing aspect of the film is seeing the “look” of the various periods Adaline lives through, the clothes and the surroundings, including the early 1900s, 30s, 50s and 60s, and on. The humor is well placed, such as when Adaline feels she has “no future” living the way she does, and she is told, “You have nothing but a future!”
Despite a fascinating storyline and strong performances, especially from Lively and Huisman and Ford, and the theme of sacrificing for others, the movie features a strong utterance of language and a sex content rating of three, which places it outside of our Dove “Family-Approved” status. We therefore, regrettably, cannot award the film our Dove Seal.