Now Playing: ‘Age of Adaline’ fails to let premise bloom

Jackson French

Jackson French

In “The Age of Adaline,” the title character, played by Blake Lively, hasn’t aged a day since 1933. Sadly, this fantasy romance doesn’t let its fascinating premise bloom.

Just within the first 10 minutes, things are off to a bad start with the movie attempting to provide a scientific explanation for Adaline’s condition. Not only is this unnecessary, but the one we get comes across like a superhero origin story wildly at odds with the movie’s tone.

This is also where we’re introduced to the narrator, a voice who talks way too much throughout the movie. There are numerous segments where the screen might as well be black when he’s telling the audience what’s going on. Much of the story is directly told through narration, with the narrator himself feeling like a cheap trick director Lee Toland Krieger cooked up because relaying the story with scenes was too hard. 


Using the narrator as a crutch, the movie skips over most of Adaline’s past. It would have been fascinating to follow her as she started a new life every decade and adjusted to new historical and technological developments, but her romance with Ellis (Michiel Huisman) takes precedence over almost everything else. 

The characters, while not exactly one-dimensional, still aren’t very pleasant. Adaline is pretentious and smug, while Ellis is both of these as well as creepy. 

Ellis’ father William (Harrison Ford), a man from Adaline’s past, is the first good character we meet. Unfortunately, he isn’t introduced until over halfway through the movie. When Adaline’s past and present collide, we get the first real intrigue in the film, but it’s not enough to undo the blandness of the story. 

Neglecting its interesting backdrop in favor of a romance between two irritating characters, “The Age of Adaline” starts with an appealing idea that the rest of the film can’t live up to.