Despite the poster for The Age of Adaline looking more like a paint chart it is actually in fact meant to be advertising this fantasy romance film. Fantasy and Romance are two of my least favorite genres of film however, I noticed that The Age of Adaline was getting a bit more attention than romance movies usually do. Because it wasn’t immediately cast off as another Nicholas Sparks copy I was more intrigued than usual.
The film begins with an awful narration, this continues sporadically throughout the film and at the conclusion. I couldn’t stand this, it would have felt more at home in a children’s Christmas movie, imagine the narration that would say “It was the night before Christmas..” that is what it was like here, it was hands down the worst thing about the film. I also didn’t really buy into the fantasy element of the film, credit to the film though as it does try to explain and validate the fantasy, but the origins of it just weren’t strong enough to warrant getting on board with it. However, once you accept the premise and block out that awful narration there isn’t a lot else wrong with The Age of Adaline and I actually found myself quite enjoying the movie. The premise was actually handled really well and it gave this romance drama a whole other element to engage with, and it was actually engaging. The romance was kept under control too, never becoming too soppy, it was actually believable which was refreshing.
The cast were responsible for a lot of my engagement and they all do really well here. Blake Lively of Gossip Girl fame takes the lead here as Adaline and she is wonderful. Firstly her character is well written and isn’t a pathetic woman who needs a man like the usual characters we see in these romance movies. Secondly, Lively is perfect at portraying her and she is a really likeable lead. The other noticeable performance to highlight is of course Harrison Ford’s. He plays the Father of Adaline’s love interest, William Jones. An actor as well-known as Ford should be a credit to any film, but he goes further than his screen presence here by performing convincingly and emotionally. The other cast members are good too but it is Lively and Ford who standout. The nature of The Age of Adaline allows for flashback sequences, these are used well (bar the narration) and they offer more information and context for characters which really helps to understand motives and actions of characters in the present. These sequences were done very well and always sparked interest as the films premise had endless potential to explore.
The Age of Adaline is better than most of the romance films I have seen, whilst I don’t particularly back the fantasy element here once you embrace it the film actually uses it very well and provokes interest surrounding it. I can’t forgive that narration though, its truly awful and does damage the film. What makes up for this though is the two standout performances from Lively and Ford who are both great. Combined with this the careful treatment of the romance element and clever use of flashbacks The Age of Adaline becomes a competent film which is easily enjoyable.
Rating – 7/10