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Ever wonder what its like not to age? I know I have, but I never can grasp all the factors that come about with immortality, especially in terms of love and relationships. Well my friends, we have the good fortune to get movies to give us a glimpse, and this weekend it is in the form of the Age of Adaline. This romantic drama has some potential to be an interesting romance story, but one must heed caution when watching trailers. So let's get started on this review shall we.
When I said interesting, I really meant it, as Age of Adaline is a unique story that centers on immortality. Our heroine doesn't drink some mystical potion, or undergoes some futuristic operation, but is somehow mutated by a rogue lightning bolt striking the river. All of this is explained in the first 10 minutes, in a hasty montage that sums up her life, which while time efficient left me a little robbed. I didn't want them to take forever, but a gradual build up of her life pre accident would have given this tale some more depth. Oh well it means we get to the romance aspect of the story faster. This film's relationships were a bit awkward for me, and a bit hastily developed at first. Her main romance goes nowhere due to fear, and only a few cute dates give us any hope something will happen. But then movie magic hits like lightning and expedites the romance to warp speed.
Regardless of how fast we get to it though, the romance in this movie is not the greatest. Sure it has its cute moments, emphasizing creativity and thoughtfulness in dating, with a little historical twist in it. There is some heartfelt, overemotional dialogue thrown in to feign love, but this movie didn't sell me in their relationship. However, Adaline's past runs interference into the relationship, and takes precedence over her life at hand. Fortunately what love we did see was not portrayed as superficial sex that many modern movies like to show.
The movie's main focus instead is about living life and pushing past your fears, especially ones addressing the concept of life. Age of Adaline has some really depressing moments and left me feeling down in the dumps. Many of the problems she flees from may get in your head, but do provide some good food for thought and philosophical discussions. Yet you will see some overdramatic, spanned out plot lines in this movie that start to grow stale.
Story aside, the editing of this movie is decent. Despite the 100 minute running tme, they still had some issues in terms of pacing and extra scenes. I felt the film cuts through a lot of Adaline's history, choosing to relive her moments via hastily done flashbacks and narrator monologues. Other times it drags on an issue, moving like molasses down a hill to get to the conclusion. As for extra scenes, well a few morbid parts could have been snipped out of the final cut, or at least replaced with some happier moments in the grand scheme of things. Despite all the extra fluff, one consistency is the camera work, which captures the emotion of our characters to illicit the intended response. Each age is well designed, makeup, costumes, and scenery all well combined to bring the world to life.
However the acting may be the component that this movie relies on the most. Blake Lovely, I'm sorry, Lively was indeed a beautiful addition to this movie in both acting and physical qualities. She carried a pristine poise that mimicked the personalities of the attitudes back then, and yet she was somehow humble. Lively shed a good amount of tears in this installment and put her somber emotions to good use, though I do wish they had given her character a broader emotional spectrum. Her beauty helps complete the picture and the outfits her wardrobe department designed will distract many from her monotone character. As for the other actors they do their parts well, but they are primarily supportive roles surrounding Adaline's story. Michiel Huisman does the job of a persistent romantic well. He's got that nice guys charm and humor that makes him likable, but he is a bit of a bore in terms of romantic interests. His backstory is flatter than a sheet of paper, and his struggles are practically absent in this tale, overshadowed by another relationship stuck in Adaline's head. As for Ford, his acting is just as strong as ever, but his role was limited in this tale, again constantly interrupted by chaotic slew of Adaline's mess.
Age of Adaline is a good drama that has a nice change of pace from the sea of mundane plots this genre has recently taken. Adaline's journey is interesting and emotional, but the romance aspect fell through for me. In addition the tale wasn't the most exciting thing, and combined with a depressing plot, was not a fun trip for me this weekend. Is it worth a trip to theater? Can't say it was, but might be good for a girl's night out soiree. My scores for Age of Adaline are:
Drama/Romance: 7.0 Movie Overall: 6.5
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