The Age of Adaline | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Age of Adaline

The film's tricky, bittersweet mix of time-shifting and romance is done in by a plodding earnestness

The Age of Adaline
Elevator or time machine? Michiel Huisman and Blake Lively

You've probably seen enough movies to know that living forever is kind of a bummer. Everything changes but you, and day-to-day becomes more of a chore than an exciting adventure. Plus, forget about getting to know other people — they just get old and die.

And so it is in The Age of Adaline, Lee Toland Krieger's somewhat magical romance about poor Adaline (Blake Lively), who, because of a freak accident in the 1920s, has been 29 years old for more than a century. She lives a quiet, mopey life in San Francisco, until a new suitor — the conveniently rich Ellis (Michiel Huisman) — makes her wish she could just grow old with him.

Adaline broaches some thoughtful issues, but the tricky, bittersweet mix of time-shifting and romance is done in by a plodding earnestness. This old-fashioned approach doesn't mix well with the more fanciful leap of faith required to commit to this unreal situation.

Lively gives a pleasantly mannered performance meant to convey her lost-in-time-ness, marked by both assuredness and terror. But, she doesn't find an on-screen spark with Huisman, who's been winning ladies all over TV (Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, Nashville, Treme). Adaline's electric connection is with another man (portrayed by Harrison Ford), and it plunges the film into a new — and kinda squicky — time-bedeviled romance. Bring a calendar.