Readers of my blog, by now you are probably quite aware that I’m a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic and that I’m endlessly addicted to Hallmark Channel. I also write romance, so I decided to share a film with you that I just watched and thoroughly enjoyed.
The movie is from 2015, and I knew nothing about it prior to two days ago. A one-time CRAZY movie buff, over the last several years I’ve pulled away from films and have been sucked into various shows made for television, and some of my favorites have included the following: Game of Thrones (the best television I’ve ever seen; in fact, one of the best things I’ve ever seen on TV or in film); 24; Call the Midwife; Jack Ryan; Doc Martin; World on Fire; Catastrophe; Grantchester; Person of Interest; Outer Banks (yes, I know…); and many other PBS and BBC shows, too many to name.
During COVID-19, I’ve also been exercising every day, and when there’s bad weather, I head inside and either ride my recumbent bike or walk on the treadmill, which leaves open time to watch movies while I work out.
I’ve never seen Blake Lively in a film, and as I was scrolling, I came upon a movie that looked intriguing: The Age of Adaline. This romantic fantasy stars Lively in the lead role, with with Michiel Huisman, Kathy Baker, Amanda Crew, Harrison Ford, and Ellen Burstyn as well. The story is set mostly in San Fransisco when Adaline loses her husband in a tragic accident in 1937, and then 10 months later, she, herself, is in a car accident and “dies.” At the time of her death, a comet hits the earth (this sounds crazy, I know, but it is woven into the plot seamlessly), and stops her from aging. She awakens, comes back to life, and realizes that something has happened to her and has changed her. After a series of incidents that revolve around her not growing older, she must resort to changing her identity, and in the process, she becomes the suspect of false identity. Soon, the FBI is after her, causing her to constantly change her name and locations to dodge becoming a “specimen of science” for the government.
If it sounds a little confusing, it’s really not at all. The main thing to remember is the timing of the comet, Adaline as your main character who doesn’t age, and the relationships that develop around her. It’s a wonderfully built script and a totally unique approach to telling stories of life and relationships than we see in our sweet, yet totally predictable Hallmark movies.
Lively is terrific in her role. A classic beauty perfect for the part, she maintains the era of the 1930s in her demeanor through the way she speaks and the way she dresses. If you’re forgetting the name of the supporting male character, Michiel Huisman, he played Daario Noharis in Game of Thrones (the second actor who played Daario, and he was charming in that role, as well). As the love interest, Huisman is flawless as the besotted gentleman who falls hopelessly in love with Adaline. But don’t worry—there’s a wicked twist that you don’t see coming that could prevent their relationship from advancing.
Set among dark tones and landscapes, the film has a feel of agelessness to it, of a woman born into an era but forced to play along with new ones, and of a woman still rooted in her sense of decorum and restraint that fostered her character in the 1930s and 1940s. As someone who often feels as if I were born in the wrong era, this film spoke to me on so many levels, and the romance in it was done just right, along with the cloud of mystery and fantasy that houses the plot.
If you haven’t see in, give it a whirl and let me know if you liked it.
Stephanie Verni is Professor of Communication at Stevenson University. She is the author of 5 works of fiction and the co-author of one academic textbook on Event Planning. Her character-driven books are set in beautiful Maryland locations and examine the realities of the human heart. Connect with her on Instagram at stephanie.verni or on Twitter at @stephverni. Or, visit her Amazon page at Stephanie Verni, Author.