After what should have been a fatal accident, Adaline Bowman is cursed with the gift of eternal life, she doesn't age....and how some people may see that as a blessing, Adaline sees that as a serious burden. She spends her entire life running away, never staying in one place for too long in fear of being found out. But when one man enters her life, she may finally spill her secret.
Blake Lively (The Town) plays Adaline, the beautiful and kind woman whose life is transformed forever (quite literally) when a freak accident burdens her with eternal life, she has to leave her daughter, her home and stray away from any possible attachments that may require her to put her life on hold. Lively gives one of the better performances of her short career, she plays Adaline with a kind heart and a smile, but behind the smile is a sadness, a deep regret, a constant acknowledgement of the eternal life she lives. Some of you may think about the concept and think "I'd love to live forever, that sounds great", but what the film does very well is paint this as a curse, Adaline can no longer know love the way she used to, she can't settle down and start a family and this struggle is shown clearly throughout.
For the first third of the film, there was a lack of focus, the movie wasn't sure in which direction it wanted to go. But as soon as Adaline meets Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) who is persistent in his efforts to impress Adaline the movie gained its focus and got on track. Huisman (Game Of Thrones) does a really good job here and gave a lot of personality to what could have been a very unlikable character. Their relationship lead to an even more interesting one between her and William Jones (Harrison Ford), Ellis' father. William and Adaline were once lovers and William recognizes her immediately yet believes that she is Adalines daughter who just happens to bear a striking resemblance. Ford (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) has and always shall be my favorite actor of all time, but even I have to admit he has been phoning it in these past few years with "42" being the exception. Thankfully Ford is truly great here, he plays his character very well and added a lot more gravitas to the film.
Speaking of emotion, a lot of it comes whenever Lively and Ellen Burstyn share the screen (Interstellar). Burstyn plays Adaline's daughter, who has aged far beyond her mother and has to now introduce Adaline as a friend rather than a parent. The relationship between these two was absolutely heartbreaking, all Flemming (Burstyn) wishes for is her mother's happiness.
Lei Toland Krieger previously directed the massively underrated "Celeste and Jesse Forever" and that is undeniably a better film with much more focus, but it was great to see Krieger take his skill for a love story and tell a much more fantastical one. The film is not unlike a fairy tale but it didn't want to admit it, it swaps out magic....for science and that felt rather contrived.
"The Age Of Adaline" is certainly no "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" but it handles it's soppy and fantastical premise well and with dignity. The romance is believable, if not a little rushed but the real meet of the story comes when Harrison Ford in introduced. This is a surprisingly watchable romance film with a lovable lead character and a great performance from Harrison Ford, I say go see it!