"Love Is a Risk Worth Taking"
What You Need To Know:
THE AGE OF ADALINE isn’t always successful, but it’s nicely filmed and acted. The movie’s worldview suffers from being a little mixed. There’s some Non-Christian, pagan elements and brief foul language, but the movie’s basic themes have moral elements. The movie clearly argues in favor of the beauty of aging. Also, being immortal forces Adaline to withdraw from humanity and from love, but the movie argues love is a risk worth taking. Due to its worldview problems, including some brief foul language, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for THE AGE OF ADALINE.
(Pa, B, C, LL, V, S, N, A, D, M) Light mixed pagan worldview with some pagan elements, and some moral messages promoting love and the beauty of aging, plus one couple gets married in a Christian church, and marriage is briefly extolled; six obscenities (one “f” and one “s” word), one GD and six light profanities; brief violence includes car crashes, woman almost drowns, lightning bolt strikes car, woman cuts her hand, and man stitches bloody wound, another car crashes, woman twice gets hypothermia in winter cold after two accidents; two brief scenes of implied fornication, plus some kissing; upper male nudity; alcohol use; brief smoking; and, immortal woman hides her identity and has to lie.
THE AGE OF ADALINE is a beautifully filmed and acted love story about a woman born at the turn of the 20th Century who has an accident that stops her from aging. AGE OF ADALINE is an engrossing movie that’s about more than just romance, but it’s marred by implied fornication and some foul language.
The movie opens with Adaline Bowman getting a new fake ID from a young computer whiz. She advises the young man to get into another line of work…one that won’t attract the attention of the police.
Cut to the turn of the 20th Century with Adaline’s birth in San Francisco one New Year’s Day in 1906, the year of the big earthquake. Adaline grows up to become a beautiful, normal American woman. She marries an engineer in 1929. Then, in 1934, while trying to go to a family New Year’s party, she accidentally runs her car off the road into a lake, where hypothermia starts to take over while she drowns. Suddenly, a lightning bolt brings her back to life and saves her. A narrator gives a pseudo-scientific explanation for what happened to Adaline, saying that, from the moment the lightning resuscitated her body, Adaline stopped aging.
Shortly thereafter, Adaline’s husband dies in an accident working on the Golden Gate Bridge, and Adaline has to raise their daughter alone. When the mid-1940s roll around, it becomes really clear that Adaline has stopped aging. She decides to disappear every 10 years or so, and only secretly meet her daughter periodically, especially on their birthdays.
Cut to the present day. Adaline goes to a New Year’s party with an old friend who’s blind. At the party, Adaline (who’s posing as a woman named Jennifer) links eyes with a rich, handsome young philanthropist, Ellis Jones. Ellis begins to pursue Adaline, but she’s very standoffish, because she believes their relationship will only end in heartache.
However, Adaline becomes just as attracted to Ellis as she to him. Ellis eventually invites her to meet his parents, who’ve been married 40 years. When they arrive, the father, William, immediately recognizes Adaline, and Adaline realizes William was a man who almost proposed to her back in the late 1960s. She ran away when, from a distance, she secretly saw him fiddling with the ring.
Adaline lies and says William must mean her mother, but William remains unconvinced. The next day, William accidentally sees that Adaline has a scar on her hand that she got when he was with her. He confronts her when she’s alone and tells her Ellis deserves to know the truth. Will Adaline finally let down her guard, and what will Ellis do when he finds out the truth?
THE AGE OF ADALINE isn’t always successful. The narration is a little strange, and the title character is always guarding her emotions, because she’s afraid of people finding out her secret. As a result, it’s not clear where the movie is heading. However, it’s beautifully filmed and acted, especially by Blake Lively as Adaline and Harrison Ford as the father. Anthony Ingruber gives a dynamic performance as the young Harrison Ford, much in the same way that the late Phoenix River did in INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE.
The movie’s worldview suffers from being a little mixed. Adaline sleeps with Young William in the 1960s and later sleeps with Ellis after they fall in love. The movie also gives a scientific explanation for the gift of immortality that Adaline receives. However, the movie’s basic themes have moral elements.
For example, the movie clearly sides with the idea that there’s a beauty to the aging process that defines our humanity. Becoming immortal forces Adaline to withdraw from the human race, including from her daughter. Also, having become immortal means that, after her husband dies, Adaline is no longer able to love another man freely while growing old together. When her secret’s out, however, Adaline is forced to decide whether to commit herself to Ellis and risk to love again. Everyone, especially the two people who know her secret, William and her daughter, tell her that love is a risk worth taking. That’s ultimately the fundamental message the movie conveys at the end.
So, due to its worldview problems, including some brief foul language, MOVIEGUIDE® still advises caution for THE AGE OF ADALINE.