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The Age of Adaline

ageadalineThe Age of Adaline appears to have everything a movie needs to be in order to be a really good movie. So it seems.  Two main elements are missing – a really good script and a seasoned director.  Nevertheless, it is the number one romance movie at Amazon as I write this review.  The wave of potential has carried over to On Demand, Blu-ray and DVD because of the astounding cast and cinematography.

The Age of Adaline tells the story of Adaline Bowman, played very well by Blake Lively (Gossip Girl). She is a woman born in 1906 and looks like she is in her late twenties when we meet her in 2014. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know the big part of the story is that she will never age another day.

In a series of flashbacks, the movie narrates while showing how Adaline was given the baffling curse of never aging past the age she was at the time of the curse. The narration is where both the writer and the director made their big mistake. Any filmmaker will tell you to let the story unfold. Don’t tell us. Show us.  The imagery worked just fine where the narration is used unnecessarily twice. The narration made it all seem so hokey. As if the director had to convince us that this transformation really happened to Adaline. The narration is not needed because throughout the movie her curse is so believable.  It’s like a fairy tale. Lively is convincing and her talent held my attention throughout the movie. Along with a very talented ensemble of co-stars kept me hoping for a better story.

What is fun about the movie is the story shifts through history with some hitches along the way. Adaline worries she will be recognized as a curiosity and terrified that she will be used as a guinea pig for governmental experimentation.  Adaline decides to live on the run, changing identities and locations in a timely manner. Until she encounters Ellis Jones, played charmingly by Michiel Huisman, he is a man beguile by her inscrutability and decides to woo her with her own medicine – history. He captures her heart, but not without a disquieting concern. It just so happens that another Jones family member Ellis’ father (played by Harrison Ford) might have a stronger connection to Adaline than any person knows.  Ford is great as he always is, and I just love watching him in this movie.

Lively is gorgeous in personality and body.  Yet, while watching the movie I kept feeling that she didn’t get along with the director, Lee Toland Kriegerm, or he didn’t know how to bring her over the top as the star of the movie and let the story be told. He just placed her in the scene hoping something would happen.  What she did was fantastic. Kriegerm just didn’t know who to capture it. The reason I say this is because the seasoned actors like Harrison Ford were true to form. Kathy Baker and Ellen Burstyn had minor roles, but I had a great time watching them in the movie.  They knew what to do with an inept story and director.

Being number one at Amazon merits a mention because the movie has its qualities. The overall story is engaging because of the concepts it offers like love at first sight, lasting love, growing old, becoming wiser, and finding old friends and family. They are magical, endearing through Adaline.