Blake Lively Charms as “Adeline”
By Skip Sheffield
Blake Lively is a special, interesting, unconventionally beautiful actress, facial imperfections and all. She carries the considerable burden of disbelief as the title character in the time-tripping romance “Age of Adeline.” The age specifically is 29. Shortly after the accidental death of her husband, Adeline Bowman is in a car accident that sends her car into freezing waters, which essentially puts her in a state of suspended animation. During a rare Sonoma County snowstorm, a bolt of lightning zaps her submerged car and acts as a defibrillator to get her heart beating again. As a side effect she is frozen at that moment in time.
As Dorian Gray and Benjamin Button previously learned, being ageless has its drawbacks. Born in San Francisco in 1908, we see Adeline pulled over by cops, thinking she has a fake driver’s license because her age lists her as 45. Adeline wiggles out of the squad car and goes on the lam, essentially for the rest of her life, changing her identity and address every ten years or so.
Because her daughter Flemming ages normally, once she hits college age Adeline sees less and less of her due to the obvious age difference. As the story progresses to the current day, Flemming is played by Ellen Burstyn, whose Flemming is considering assisted living.
Another casualty of her condition is any close romantic relationship. Adaline’s resolve is tested to the limit by Ellis Jones (Dutch actor Michiel Huisman); a wealthy, persistent young man who pursues Adeline like a lovesick schoolboy- if a schoolboy had a limitless budget.
Pointing out logical absurdities makes no more sense than questioning the back story in Marvel’s “Avengers,” which also comes out next weekend. Instead we should relish the grace and conviction with which Blake Lively handles her unlikely character. The drama is ratcheted up with the introduction of Harrison Ford as William Jones, a former paramour of hers and father of Adeline’s current squeeze. Harrison plays William as seriously as if he were doing “Hamlet,” which is jolly good fun.
At the very least “The Age of Adeline” is a good date flick for cockeyed optimists who think, yeah, right, just maybe that could happen to me.