Similarities to Benjamin Button are impossible to ignore when looking at The Age of Adaline (AA). So much so, I can think of no other way to begin this review than to point them out: the blurry color tone, cinematography, beginning time period, the story takes place in one iconic American city, and it deals the consequences of life with an age related condition. However, Benjamin Button had the added benefit of revolutionary facial CGI that made Brad Pitt look whatever age he had to be. What does AA do to set it apart?
Short answer: not a whole lot, but that does not mean the movie is bad. In fact, it is just average. It was not condescending, poorly made or acted. AA is totally inoffensive and anyone who has not seen Benjamin Button will probably like it.
Blake Lively plays Adaline, a seemingly ordinary young woman who was blessed with immortality in a freak accident in the 1930s. To avoid scrutiny by those who deem her a prime specimen for examination, Adaline changes her name and address with every decade. At the same time, she denies the advancements of men and the possibility of a relationship. Her subterfuge pays off for almost 80 years until she meet Ellis, played by Michiel Huisman, a wealthy philanthropist. In the ensuing romance, Adaline questions her strict adherence to her secretive lifestyle.
AA is an okay movie. There is nothing wrong with it, but there is nothing to get excited about either. It is a painfully average film, without the pain.
Lively was great. She puts a nice touch on the cadence of her voice that reflects the period of her character’s origin. It was an honest effort that paid off quite well. Compared to other roles, I cannot attest to her past skill outside of her minor part in The Town. I would have seen Savages if Oliver Stone’s name was not attached to it like a pompous, liberal rash.
Everyone else involved was just fine. Huisman was acceptable for his type of character and Harrison Ford as his father seemed to care enough to act in the time he was allowed on screen. For anyone interested, Hugh Ross, the Narrator from The Assassination of Jesse James, lends his voice to a few parts of AA.
Though average through and through, I have one complaint in regards to the actions of Adaline to keep her immortality a secret. A part of her process is changing addresses, but she only moves between San Francisco and Oregon. If you were trying to hide a secret so immense it would change the world, why would you live in the two places anyone looking would think to find you? It is justified because Adaline’s elderly daughter cannot go very far outside of California, but after 70 years of knowing her mother is immortal, I think she will understand if Adaline needs to live an isolated existence, far away from any possibility of discovery. On top of that, why would you confine yourself to the West Coast of all places? Seriously.
And that is The Age of Adaline. It is not a bad film and it is not a good one either. You will not gain or miss anything what ever you decide to do with your money.