Lively Age of Adaline

Review by C.J. Bunce

A different kind of time trip awaits you.  The Age of Adaline didn’t do much to promote the presence of Harrison Ford as a key character in this supernatural fantasy romance that hit theaters only last year.  Yet it’s one film that Harrison Ford fans–even those who may not normally go for a romance movie–will not want to miss.  Recognized as a Peoples’ Choice Award nominee for Favorite Dramatic Movie, but otherwise not making much of a blip on the radar of moviegoers, The Age of Adaline presents a solid fantasy story even if we’ve seen the subject matter before.

Blake Lively takes center stage as Adaline Bowman, a woman who was seemingly killed in an accident in the 1930s at the age of 29.  Yet instead of staying dead, a bit of mystical intervention causes her to no longer age.  She is left exactly like Ioan Gruffudd’s Dr. Henry Morgan in the ABC TV series Forever–to struggle with being immortal, for no apparent reason, and without any answers.  Those around her continue to age, and she avoids relationships so she will not be found-out and used for some eager scientist’s experiments into the secrets of eternal youth.  Like Morgan’s older looking son played by Judd Hirsch in Forever, Adaline, too, has an older looking child, played by Ellen Burstyn posing as Adaline’s grandmother.

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Despite the familiar territory, the pleasant cast–including Orphan Black and Game of Thrones’ Michael Huisman, who plays Adaline’s kind and earnest boyfriend Ellis, and Ford as Ellis’s father–gives viewers an enchanting new take on the trope.  Lively manages to balance a sweet romance between Adaline and Ellis and another character, and the writers (three in all) avoid the typical love triangle this story could have easily taken.  Ford provides some solid dramatic acting work, one of his best, most understated performances in years.  The result is a good romance fantasy that is easy to recommend to any audience.

Oddly enough, like another supernatural tale, The Mothman Prophecies, you’re propelled forward with a bit of a sense of dread–as the predictable plot points unfold, it’s hard not to hang on for the ride.  But can any of this end up well for Adaline, or Ellis, or Ellis’s father?  The film includes an unnecessary narration of The Waltons variety, which, although an odd choice, takes nothing away from the enjoyment of the movie.

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Young actor Anthony Ingruber plays a young Harrison Ford, making him a likely candidate for any number of prequels for Ford’s catalog of films.

A spring 2015 release, The Age of Adaline is now available OnDemand exclusively on EPIX, and streaming via Vudu and Amazon Prime.  You can also pick up the Blu-ray here at Amazon.com.

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