‘The Age of Adaline’ Review

photo for The Age of AdalineThis romantic melodrama opened on the cusp of the May summer releases and was soon buried by “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Pitch Perfect 2,” yet the moderately budgeted film did surprisingly well at the boxoffice. The story, assisted by an omnipotent narrator, revolves around Adaline (Blake Lively), a 29-year-old widow who survives a near-death experience in 1935 and (thanks to a confluence of freezing temperatures and accidental electric shock) from that day on never grows older. She guards her secret and her heart for eight decades, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret … except her daughter (Ellen Burstyn), who is now older than her mother. Every decade Adaline changes her name and identity and moves on to a new life. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) — just before Adaline is about to leave San Francisco to move to Oregon — re-ignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend with his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker) threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a life-altering decision. Though sentimental and unbelievable (despite the narrator’s scientific explanation), “Adaline” is about as charming as any film can be. The talented Lively is a pleasure to watch, and her acting chops keep you interested in her character and the story line. Kudos also to Ford, who plays a sympathetic older man in contrast to the generally crusty, wise-ass roles he’s been taking lately. Lovely cinematography, syrupy music, sappy ending: A breath of fresh air in a market of over indulgent sex, violence, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. For the romantic in you. Vitals: Director: Lee Toland Krieger. Stars: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Kathy Baker, Ellen Burstyn. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 113 min., Romantic Drama, Box office gross: $41.451 million, Lionsgate. Extras: Audio commentary with director Lee Toland Krieger, “A Love Story for the Ages” featurette, “Style Throughout the Ages” featurette, “Discovering Young Harrison Ford: Anthony Ingruber, An Online Sensation” featurette, deleted scenes. 3 stars

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