Monday, March 27, 2017

The Age of Adaline

Year 9, Day 86 - 3/27/17 - Movie #2,580

BEFORE: Today I have to start putting my office back together, which I'm not looking forward to.  I was very stressed out in the weeks before the move, and started fantasizing about quitting, just so I wouldn't have to go through the hassle of moving.  The move itself was also incredibly stressful, and even though the hardest part is over, I'm still having fantasies about quitting, so I won't have to rebuild everything in the office, from the internet to the file cabinets to the dozens of boxes of merchandise.  Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is the promise of that annual trip to Comic-Con in July - which is also a lot of work, but at least it's also somewhat fun.

Blake Lively carries over from "Café Society" as I approach the end of another month.

THE PLOT: A young woman, born at the turn of the 20th century, is rendered ageless after an accident.  After many solitary years, she meets a man who complicates the eternal life she has settled into.

AFTER: This film features a very different love triangle than last night's film - but it's still an odd coincidence.  The one in "Café Society" featured the unlikely possibility that a young man's girlfriend might later become his aunt - but since that film was directed by a man who married his own step-daughter, you kind of have to wonder if he had his own agenda.  There's another very unlikely romantic occurrence here, though I'm hesitant to mention the exact details for fear of spoilers.  (Also, this is the third film in a row for me with a scene set on New Year's Eve, I kind of wish I'd known that, perhaps I could have scheduled this chain more appropriately.)

But suffice it to say that there is a woman who has somehow stopped aging (there is an exact combination of elements that supposedly causes this, but since it mentions electron compression in DNA, whatever that is, I assume that it's junk science and not meant to be taken seriously).  Hey, at least she's not aging backwards like Benjamin Button, because I still don't understand what was going on with him.

As a result of living for so many decades, Adaline ends up looking younger than her own daughter, and suspicions are raised whenever anyone checks her I.D., so she's forced to disappear every few decades and come back with a new name and new documents, and start her life again.  Of course, this leads to NITPICK POINT about how she manages to hired without a proper resumé or a college degree - or does she have to keep going to college under each new name, just to get ahead in whatever field she works in?  (Where does she work, anyway - some kind of library or archive?  It's a bit unclear.).

The good things about living for so long include being an expert on early 20th century history (because she was there for so much of it) and by extension, being unbeatable at Trivial Pursuit.  (But sorry, NITPICK POINT #2, just because you live longer doesn't mean you remember more, in fact the opposite is probably true.  The human brain can only store so much before old memories have to be sacrificed to make room, right?).  But the bad thing about living so long seems to be that it turns you into someone who can't form a lasting relationship, due to a combination of pining for lost loves and not wanting to watch another one grow old and pass away.

So Adaline has made herself unapproachable, unable to let anyone close for what she perceives as her own good, and to keep anyone from learning her secret.  And thus we come to NITPICK POINT #3, which results from me wondering why she is so desperate to keep her anti-aging a secret.  If you knew that your body held the cure for aging, or any disease such as cancer, wouldn't you have a moral responsibility to allow yourself to be examined, in order to help other people?  Keeping her secret is not only self-preservation, but also incredibly selfish.

But I digress - this is really a romance of sorts, because even though she's tormented by the memories of her dead husband and other lost loves, one man finally is able to break through the wall and win her heart - but things then become more complicated by a coincidence even greater than the convergence of events that led to her accident in the first place.  I wish I could say that I could overlook these coincidences, but I'm just not buying into it.

I wish I could say the acting is good, but most of it just isn't.  I think Blake Lively was cast in "Café Society" in an attempt to make Kristen Stewart seem like a better actor by comparison, but that didn't work.  And in addition to the junk science, the attempt to tie something in with the astronomical return of a comet didn't make any sense (nor did some weird tie-in between the moon, the tides in Tierra del Fuego, and a freak snowstorm - did not understand that at all.).

But I will say that the actor here who plays the younger version of Harrison Ford's character really should have been considered for the upcoming "young Han Solo" movie. I'm biased - he also was seen doing a Harrison Ford impression in the film "The People vs. George Lucas", a film I was interviewed in, so he was one of my co-stars.  This other actor, Alden Ehrenreich, who won the role, must have given a killer audition to beat this guy.

Also starring Michiel Huisman (last seen in "World War Z"), Harrison Ford (last seen in "The Conversation"), Ellen Burstyn (last heard in "Red Dragon"), Kathy Baker (last seen in "Saving Mr. Banks"), Amanda Crew (last seen in "Jobs"), Peter J. Gray, Cate Richardson, Anthony Ingruber, Lynda Boyd, Anjali Jay, Richard Harmon, with narration by Hugh Ross.

RATING: 5 out of 10 newsreels

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