Saturday 16 May 2015

The Age of Adaline ... Excited about gray hair

THE Age of Adaline is the only film I've seen in which a woman gets excited about seeing a gray hair on her.  Viewers seeing this film, about a woman who remains ageless after being struck by lightning, will think of Paul Lambert in Highlander (1986), in which the protagonist cannot die, no matter how hard his enemies try to send him six feet under. Of course, his good looks remain the same throughout the centuries.

 The Highlander hero changes his identity every few years and moves about, never staying put in the same place for too long. He also works in antiques, something that suits him.
   The Adaline hero is struck by lightning in the 1930s at the age of 29 and remains ageless for nearly eight decades. She says she moves around and changes her name every decade and has never allowed herself to fall in love, except very nearly once.
   Viewers will immediately pick up on this clue, as very soon after, Adaline (Blake Lively, 28), meets dark-haired philanthropic bookworm hunk Ellis Jones (Dutchman Michiel Huisman, last seen in Wild and TV's Game of Thrones).
  Even if you didn't, you'd guess that she'd have to meet a rich stud sooner or later, and that her immaculate complexion would have to give way to the ravages of time.
   There's an amusing conversation between Adaline and her elderly daughter Flemming (Ellen Burstyn), in which Adaline tells Flemming that she's moving cities so that she can be closer to the latter and take care of her in her old age.
  Adaline also tells her daughter that she's tired of transplanting herself and deceiving others, which are the themes of this film.
   Lively's such a gentle actress with a delectable drawl that you almost wished that she was an ageless creature, what with her undulating hips, plunging necklines and sparkling eyes.
  I was wondering when the film would enter its final third act when we meet Ellis' parents, astronomer father William (Harrison Ford) and mum Kathy (Kathy Baker), who are about to celebrate 40 years of marriage.
    In a scene that's so contrived that your own hair may turn gray, it's revealed that William and Adaline had an intense five-week relationship in the 1960s. This sets William's heart racing and mind going off in a tangent, and it's also revealed that he was the one she nearly gave her heart to.
   If you're thinking what I'm thinking, wouldn't you be feeling a wee bit squeamish to know that Adaline fornicated with both father and son? Did director Lee Toland Krieger think of this?
   Both the heroes in Highlander and The Age of Adaline meet their true loves only when they lose their ability to maintain their youthfulness. The latter is not afraid of its heroine embracing mortality (read, old age) because, as she says when she spots the offending strand of gray hair, it's "perfect".

2.5 out of 5 stars


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