The Age of Adaline Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford. Directed by Lee Toland Krieger. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday.
Star Blake Lively’s stilted, mannered acting actually works in her favor in The Age of Adaline, in which she plays a seemingly immortal woman born in 1908. Adaline’s style and speech patterns are meant to evoke old-time movie stars, and Lively’s blank, earnest performance is reminiscent of the kind of charisma-free beauties that Hollywood often made into stars in the 1940s (and, of course, still does). Adaline falls in love with a rich philanthropist (Michiel Huisman) and wistfully looks back on her long, lonely life, but neither the romance nor the regret is particularly convincing.
The plot (complete with literary-sounding narration that over-explains everything) is dull and predictable, especially in its turgid second half, in which Adaline faces a man (Harrison Ford) she jilted decades earlier. Only Ellen Burstyn briefly enlivens the movie as Adaline’s feisty, now-elderly daughter. The Age of Adaline aims to be as timeless as its main character, but it ends up feeling like a musty relic.