I was excited to finally get to the theater to watch “The Age of Adaline” yesterday. It looked promising. There is fantasy (she’s ageless), intrigue (the FBI hunts her), and romance (Harrison Ford and Michiel Huisman as her lovers from different eras). What could be hotter than dating Han Solo and then Daario Naharis from “Game of Thrones?” I figured this movie had the potential to be more than just promising; it could be a classic.
Unfortunately, the movie is just okay. Some of it is well done, but other parts of it are lacking. The dramatic, fantasy element where Adaline becomes immortal after her car accident is breathtaking. Blake Lively’s timelessness as Adaline is fascinating to watch. But the intrigue advertised in the trailer is not as thrilling as expected. Much of the movie takes place in modern times, and it seems the FBI was only hunting her in the ’50s. There isn’t any real threat to her through most of the movie. The romance part also could have been more steamy. We don’t see her spend much time with Han—I mean Harrison Ford. She’s constantly running from Huisman just when she starts to get close to him. It suddenly feels like there was a lot of wasted storyline that could have put more life into the film.
The talent was all talented; there’s not doubt about that. Lively was perfect. She had the century old accent and demeanor down pat. But we didn’t get nearly enough of Ellen Burstyn’s childlike Flemming chiming in along the way. Ford as William had only so much to work with. His character’s only connection to Adaline seems to be encouraging her to stay with his son Ellis. And we barely get to the romantic relationship between Adaline and Ellis (Huisman). Adaline is too busy remembering how much she hurt William by staying the same and ever young, while William moved forward, changed, and grew old. Those memories prevent her from forming closer bonds to either William or Ellis. Why couldn’t the supporting cast have had bigger roles? All that would have done is made the movie better.
Perhaps, the problem was too much focus on the fact that Adaline doesn’t age. That is what makes the whole story, but more focus on the other elements would have made this a great film and given the other actors more to do. If the FBI manhunt for Adaline had been expanded on, that would have put a spotlight on Burstyn’s character. She is the only one who is in on Adaline’s secret from the beginning, and having her help preserve the secret by throwing the FBI off track could have been suspenseful. If the romance part received more tender, loving care, there would have been an explanation as to why William fell in love with Adaline so quickly in his youth and never forgot her as an old man. We would have also seen Ellis fall in love with her in a deeper way than just love at first sight.
This wasn’t a bad movie. I just think that more could have been done with it. There was so much story and good acting available. Understandably, the film had to be edited down for flow, but there could have been a better balance amongst all the different elements of the film.