Fantasy and realism: two words that are as opposite as honey and vinegar. One would think that you can't have both, that you have to have one or the other. But I saw a movie recently that actually does a pretty good job of delivering the wonder of fantasy, and the charm of realism in one two hour sitting.
The Age of Adaline (not to be confused with that OTHER 'Age of' film coming out soon) follows the story of Adaline Bowman, a woman who, for some strange reason, can not age. She gains this remarkable ability after getting into a car-wreck in the 1930's. Since then, she has remained the age of 28 for nearly 8 decades. Because of her ever-changing appearance, she is forced to move constantly so no one she meets grows suspicious of her "eternal beauty". The movie stars Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman and Harrison Ford.
The movie, despite its fantasy background, is very real. Real in the sense that, there is no magic, other than Adaline's condition. There are no magical spells or curses that might have caused her to live forever, it just...happened. It may seem like a bad move, having a fantasy movie with hardly any magical elements in it, but this movie plays it off very well.
The movie in its core is less so about the magic behind her immortality, but more so about Adaline herself. Specifically her journey as she adapts to the changes in society throughout the years, and her desperate and impossible attempts to not grow attached to people when she moves to a new place; because she knows she'll have to leave them eventually. In all honesty, this movie would have fit in perfectly with Disney's live-action princess films as of recent. Like I said, it's very real, but it still manages to keep that magical touch you'd expect from a fantasy film.
It's very hard to explain, but that's just how the movie feels. If not for the premise that Adaline is 107 years old by the time she meets her love interest, Daahrio Naharis (little GoT joke for ya), this would be just another 'boy meets girl' love story flick. But it's really the mystery behind her situation that keeps you intrigued. That and the pacing. The pacing of this film is quit slow, but not in a bad way. I think it's good that it goes slow, because the film always has a little piece of Adaline's history to share with you. The pacing does pick up a bit when Harrison Ford introduced. That guy is this movie's key drama and plot twist factors!
Bottom line, The Age of Adaline is a film that should have been just another forgettable romance drama. But its fantasy undertones behind its charming feel of realism keeps it entertaining. It's a film that can't be properly explained, you just need to see it for yourself.
"Leave it to Blake Lively and Daario to make a dumb premise a good movie"—Jon Negroni