The Age of Adaline Review
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Sometimes, when you’re in the mood for a love story, nothing but a classic film will do. There’s just something about the characters and their decorum that make the classics feel more romantic. So, for The Age of Adaline, director Lee Toland Krieger borrows from the classics, taking a character from an old black-and-white drama and transplanting her into a modern-day romance.

The Age of Adaline stars Blake Lively as Adaline Bowman. Born on New Year’s Day of 1908, Adaline hasn’t aged a day since a freak accident nearly took her life in the ‘30s. In order to protect herself and her daughter, she’s been forced to stay on the move ever since, changing her identity every decade, always fearing that someone would discover her secret.

But just as she’s planning to make another move, Adaline meets Ellis (Michiel Huisman), a charming—and persistent—young man who makes her consider putting an end to her life on the run.

If you enjoy the refined romance of a classic love story—and you’ve had your fill of the over-the-top wackiness of outrageous rom-coms—you’ll appreciate the graceful drama of The Age of Adaline. Adaline is a timeless character—from her tone of voice and her choice of words to her stylish but classic fashion sense (and even her ring tone). And while Lively has a tendency to play up the melodrama, sometimes forcing her character’s stiff, old-timey persona just a bit more than necessary, the thoughtful styling and careful direction give the character just the right kind of old-fashioned charm.

Huisman’s Ellis, meanwhile, may be shaggier than the classic leading man, but he’s certainly the romantic ideal. Wealthy but modest, persistent yet respectful, smart but not stuffy, he’s a generous genius who just needs the love of the right woman (and maybe a decent barber) to make his life complete. Sure, he might be a little too perfect—but that makes him a good match for the elegant but standoffish beauty from the past.

Admittedly, some aspects of Adaline’s story are a bit awkward. The fantasy isn’t without its flaws—even beyond the necessary suspension of disbelief—and, like most romances, it has its share of sappy moments, too. But its blend of likable characters and old-fashioned charm makes it a sweet alternative to the same old outrageous chick flick.

The Age of Adaline isn’t destined to become a classic romance—the kind you watch over and over on lazy Friday nights—but this modern twist on an old-fashioned love story is still a worthwhile choice for date night or girls’ night.

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