Photo from collider.com
By Stephanie Schieda
Most would be delighted at never hitting 30―to dance in your 20’s forever, without fear of responsibility or settling down.
The obsession of immortality has been a driving force in Hollywood, where television series and movies centered on porcelain-skinned creatures who survive by paranormal behavior, like a bag of type O from a blood bank or spells from a book of witchcraft. Some are more along the lines of a human witness, who remains in the world of wrinkleless, observing generations as time redundantly marches on.
“The Age of Adaline”, directed by Lee Toland Krieger, hit theaters Friday with a gorgeous cast, predictable plot, and bland script. Adaline Bowman, portrayed by Blake Lively, stopped aging at 29 years old after a seemingly impossible car accident, which the narrator overshadowed with a play-by-play of her dying, interrupted by a lightning bolt hitting her car, thus altering her DNA and rendering her ageless.
She lived through eight decades- two world wars, the civil rights movement, the second-wave feminism and the birth of punk rock- but spent her time raising Cavalier dogs. Her eternal youthfulness did not enamor her, instead left her rather mute and lusterless toward life.
Her acting was perfect for the role, as a witness of the repeated pains of humanity, and the recurring loss of loved ones, she is emotionally withdrawn.
Adaline is forced to change her identity and move to a new town every 10 years because of a run-in with the FBI, who wanted to hold her for testing, but she escaped. Ellen Burstyn brings Adaline’s daughter, Flemming to life through mother-daughter jokes and serving as her sole confidant. The most relatable aspect of the plot was this bond between mother and daughter, which displayed the spectrum of roles each serve to one another, from best friend to caretaker.
Adaline and Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) share a cliché romance, which begins at a New Year’s Eve party, where they lock eyes through a crowded room and end the night nude-ly tangled in bed. With the sunrise, she tries to escape from his charismatic presence by ignoring all of his phone calls. Jones defies her wish to be left alone by hunting her down with flowers.
His fascination into historical preservation embodied his infatuation with Adaline, who he believed to be named Jenny. She is drawn out of her shell, beyond her librarian façade and introvert persona, almost revealing her secret in an uncanny performance of Trivial Pursuit at a weekend spent with his parents. She then decided to veer off of her careful bystander course in life, altering her entire reality.
Their lack of chemistry did not help their predictable love story. Although Jones was charming and armored with drool-worthy abs of steel- which you disappointingly only see once- there was no fire in their touch, or thrill to his chase of her affection.
Overall, it was a decent movie- beautiful cast and predictable plot intertwined with some cheesy lines. Lively’s acting was enjoyable, but the emphasis on raising dogs wasn’t needed, considering there is much more she could of focused her unlimited time on. Certainly no rush to theaters, you can wait for this one to come out onto DVD.