Immortal Adaline is forgettable
Immortality is a quality we all fantasize about. We all know someone (or are someone) who doesn't want to acknowledge their age. We all wish to stay young. It has long been a common theme in fiction. Making a feature film that deals with the subject can prove to be difficult for a multitude of factors, and one is finding an actor who can portray a character that is beyond the actor's years. The latest film to play off of this notion is The Age of Adaline, which presented an intriguing idea through its trailers and marketing, but unfortunately couldn't live up to its premise.
Our immortal character is a woman who was involved in a freak accident in the 1940s which granted her the ability never to age. As she remains young, she becomes of interest to authorities who question how her age and appearance don't match. This leads her to abandon her friends and family in order to not draw attention to herself, as she spends the next several decades moving from place to place and taking other aliases. The film mainly focuses on her present situation where she becomes involved with a man who turns out to be the son of previous lover, who she reunites with when she meets his parents.
With a character that spans several decades and could showcase a variety of situations, The Age of Adaline takes an approach that seems to have been more appropriate for a stage play, given its limited amount of settings. A narrator explaining (in faux scientific terms) how Adaline became immortal and the highly predictable ending don't do the story any favors.
Blake Lively in the title role offers a subpar performance. She's pretty enough to embody an ideal of immortal beauty, but she doesn't have the acting chops to convey a sense that the character has lived the length of many lives. The highlight is Harrison Ford, who turns perhaps the best performance of his in the last decade. Ford truly sells the idea that someone he once loved is now suddenly in front of him, unchanged by the years.
The Age of Adaline is not a great film, but not a bad one either. It's not as good as it could be. Perhaps with a more broad premise, it could have been more memorable. It should suit those who can see just what the burden of being truly ageless can mean.