While another example of how rape culture is infused in the romance genre, through stalking in this case, it is hard to deny that a piece of you wants to forget the beginning of the film’s romance to focus on its present and future.
Review (with Spoilers) – Below
Characters & Story
Since the early 1900s Adaline (Blake Lively) has walked this Earth. During that time she fell in love, a few times; had one child; and has changed her alias every decade. After all, when you perceive yourself as immortal, and once had the FBI after you, what choice are you left but to constantly change locations, names, and your identity?
Well, one man makes her rethink that. For while Flemming (Ellen Burstyn), Adaline’s daughter, has always pushed her mom to find love, it is Ellis (Michiel Huisman) who gets the job done. Albeit through an almost creepy persistence, but when there is infatuation, influence, and money, what man doesn’t find a way to win over a woman after she initially says no?
Though I was never a huge fan of Lively, during her height in the Gossip Girl days, it is hard to deny her “girl next door” charm won’t have you enchanted by Adaline. Especially since we see various love interest of hers and, through flashbacks, are given enough details about her life to really feel like you get the need to know basics. However, perhaps the sweetest moments of the film strangely aren’t between Lively and Huisman, but more so between Burstyn and between Lively and a dog. If only because Burstyn’s character has been a staple in Adaline’s life for years, and it seems Adaline has owned the descendants of one dog for generations.
Leading to the issues of the film, which begin with Ellis and end with how the film comes to a close. Now, to not give too much away, one of the first major issues is Ellis is repeatedly told no and continues to pursue Adaline anyway. And just to show how bad he gets, he uses his privilege as a board member to find out where she lives and goes to her home.
Though things get really odd in the movie when we meet William (Harrison Ford) and learn of his connection to Adaline, as well as Ellis. Making you wonder why in the hell couldn’t Adaline’s relationship with her elderly daughter be the main focus? But, I guess, showing the ultimate curse of watching your own child die, yet live well into her golden years, wouldn’t have sold as well as a young man stalking a woman old enough to be his grandmother a few times over.
Overall: TV Viewing
If you can somehow set aside how creepy Ellis is, and the ridiculous coincidence William presents, you may find yourself enjoying the movie. However, I personally found that the romantic plot was weak and annoying, especially when you add Adaline doing Forever type jokes, and nods, when it comes to her age. Hence the TV Viewing label for if the main focus was Adaline’s relationship with Flemming, and maybe Adaline failing at love until she considers a nurse who is helping Flemming, maybe this could have been worth seeing. But once Ellis came out as a stalker, and the movie tried to turn things around and redeem him, honestly it became hard to invest in their relationship. Much less Adaline’s situation with William.