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The Age Of Adaline Review

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You could probably count on one hand the amount of romantic fantasy movies that are a draw at the box office each year. The problem isn't so much the extraordinary stories, but more in selling them to a target audience of people looking for a date movie that generally want something lighthearted and funny as well as emotionally engaging.
The basic idea for The Age of Adaline is actually something audiences are more than a little susceptible to these days because it almost plays like a superhero origin story; a pleasant young woman who hails from San Francisco is zapped by the elements in the late 1930s and thereafter stops aging. Blessed - or cursed - with eternal youth Adaline must now figure out how to best live her life with the people she loves drifting farther from her each day.

Naturally the biggest problem she faces is with falling in love, and it isn't long before she finds herself smitten and trying to deal with the consequences her newfound abilities with her ever finding happiness. Blake Lively is very good in the title role, and plays the character with gentle grace that lends Adaline a frailty the draws you in. 
While Lively is excellent in the lead, the movie loses some of it's traction with the different suitors she encounters on her journey. The Age of Adeline works best when she's surrounded by other characters and has someone to spark off but falls flat in the quitter, more reflective moments. Harrison Ford pops up as a cranky old timer with a knack for putting his foot in his mouth and steals the show out from under everyone, while her main flame is played by Michael Huisman, who unfortunately is let down a bit by the script. 
Given that Adaline is so guarded about letting people in too close, the man she falls for should sweep her of her feet and the chemistry should be electric but instead it's all too restrained, too stoic. Romance stories live or die by the connection their leads share and the pairing of Adaline and Ellis just doesn't cut it as far as a sweeping love story goes.
That's not to say that The Age of Adaline doesn't warrant some affection. There is a third act change of direction that works surprisingly well when you weigh up the self-enforced loneliness Adaline puts herself through to protect her feelings, and for all the few parts of the script that don't work, the movie still has an old-world charm that makes it endearing and quietly emotional viewing. The Age of Adaline is never going to go down in the annals of history as one of the greatest date movies, but it might prove to be a little more timeless than some of the films it is competing with. 

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The Movie Bit: The Age Of Adaline Review
The Age Of Adaline Review
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