I went into The Age of Adaline half-expecting a complete waste of time and half-expecting an enjoyable romance movie. So honestly, I was preparing for this film to go either way. Walking out of the movie, I'm joyed to say that it's not a complete waste of time, although that's not to say you need to rush out and see it either. The film follows the story of Adaline (Blake Lively). At the age of 29, Adaline was involved in a car accident which resulted in her no longer ageing. Weird, I know. We soon catch up with her eight decades later. Her daughter is approaching death and she's still stuck in a 29-year-old body. Then she meets Ellis (Michiel Huisman), a man who instantaneously falls for her, forcing Adaline to risk the secrecy of her condition for another chance at love.
I kind of liked this movie, I'm not going to lie. I was hesitant going in, but I shouldn't have been. The film itself is nothing spectacular, and I will get into why very shortly, but it has its own unique spin on this old-school love story that certainly complicates things, to say the least. The film begins extremely well, doing a great job at setting up the characters and trying to put logic behind Adaline's condition, even if they sometimes go through the facts so fast that you'll have no idea what you actually just heard. But the strange thing is that you just go with it. You accept that this is happening and you believe it, or at least I did, even if just for the two hour long period of watching this film.
Once the initial woo-ha has finished, the film then begins to delve into familiar territory. It takes a nose dive down into the clichéd romance movies area, although this dive is gradual. It doesn't rush there, but it fails to avoid it as well. It starts out decent and then takes a turn for the worse. It's not horrible by any means, but there's a certain familiarity about everything that I wasn't able to overcome. I could foresee what was about to happen, for it has happened in countless movies prior to this.
Then, all of a sudden, the film picks itself back up, dusts itself off and suddenly takes an unexpected turn. A turn that was only hinted at in the trailer. About an hour or so into the movie we're introduced to Harrison Ford's character, and here is when the film starts to get interesting once again. It pushes its clichés under the carpet and adds another interesting layer into the mix. A layer that involves an important figure from Adeline's past, and that figure? Mr. Harrison Ford himself. Talk about an unexpected reunion.
It's in this third act that the film rises and exceeds all expectations I had for this movie. Sure, the film as a whole isn't perfect. It's scattered with clichés, never fully reaches its potential and has the odd awkward line here and there, but during the time spent with Harrison Ford's character during the second half of this movie, this film became something special. It was exciting, heart breaking, unpredictable and even a little emotional. Plus, the scenes involving the entire family have an unexpected amount of tension to them. It's brilliant stuff, although unfortunately wasn't done as well during the first half.
Alas, the moments of brilliance failed to last long as a certain event happens, an event that I jokingly said earlier would happen, and the after effects of that event caused me to roll my eyes. Yes, the story did seem like it was going to be difficult to wrap up, and once it did in fact finish, the result is somewhat underwhelming. It's rushed and handled poorly, cramming every detail in your face. There's not enough time given to let everything sink in. It all happens in such a hurry.
To sum up, The Age of Adaline starts out rather promising, although then goes on to throw clichés in our face before finally coming back around late in the second act to provide us with countless brilliant scenes and scenarios, mostly thanks to one Harrison Ford.