Review: ‘Age of Adaline’ falls short of epic romance

Cayla Maurer, Verge Editor

There is a brief moment in “The Age of Adaline” where tears will fall and you won’t even realize you were so emotionally invested in the movie.

You’ll riffle through your purse to find napkins that don’t have butter on them from the popcorn, but it’s too late.

You let the tears come as you watch Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) put her dog, Reese, to sleep.

It’s an emotional moment for any pet lover, but it’s not what you hoped the biggest tug at the heartstrings would be in a modern romance film.

“The Age of Adaline” follows the life of Adaline from the Roaring 20s to the psychedelic 70s to 2014 where she is still the same flawless beauty, just with a different wardrobe.

The actual age of Adaline is a fickle matter.

Adaline was born on New Year’s Day, 1908, but a freak accident causes her to stop aging at the age of 29.

Adaline eventually realizes (after a run in with agents in dark suits) that if she wants to hide her secret, she must keep moving.

She takes a new identity every decade, even if that means never being very close to her daughter, Flemming (Ellen Burstyn) and never settling down with someone.

While there are some glances into Adaline’s past, most of the story takes place in modern day San Francisco, which makes the leading lady 107 years old despite her youthful appearance.

Just when she is about to get a new identity she meets Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman), a wealthy philanthropist who is persistent in his pursuit of Adaline after meeting in an elevator at a New Year’s party.

With some encouragement from Flemming, Adaline decides to let go and get to close with Ellis.

The relationship works until she meets his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker) and her past comes back to haunt her.

I’ll admit, I have always been enchanted by Blake Lively. Even during her “Gossip Girl” days, there was something about her that had an old Hollywood, timeless feel.

Maybe that’s one reason why she was cast as a woman who can transcend time.

She looks fantastic in the film while outfitted in a variety of vintage cardigans, skirts and dresses.

Lively’s on-screen beau, Michiel Huisman, is a beautiful man, but doesn’t fit just right next to Lively. A romance requires two equally charismatic leads and Huisman just can’t hold a candle next to the beauty that she is.

The whole point of the movie is to wow with the epic romance, but there is a lack of urgency and spark. This is supposed to be a fairy tale, but it doesn’t quite come together and will leave you a little disappointed.

“The Age of Adaline” isn’t perfect, but if you’re willing to suspend your belief you will find shining moments in the film to distract you from its shortcomings.

Cayla Maurer is a senior journalism major.
She can be reached at
581-2812 or [email protected]