For a movie about a 106-year-old — albeit one trapped in the body of a 29-year-old — "The Age of Adaline" doesn't have a lot of wisdom. It's a flimsy story propped up by a Benjamin Button-like plot device that fails to wrestle with any of the issues it presents.

Blake Lively plays Adaline Bowman, a centenarian who hasn't physically aged a day since she was struck by lightning when she was in her late 20s. Mentally, she's seen and done it all, including watch her daughter age to become Ellen Burstyn while she still looks in the mirror and sees Blake Lively. She's lived through two World Wars and 26 presidential election cycles and has nary a wrinkle to show for it.

Which is all fun and games until it's not. Shadowy government types try to capture Adaline to do tests on her, which causes her to flee and change her address every few years. She lives a life of solitude and never tells anyone her secret. Turns out never aging gets pretty lonely.

And Lively can't carry the weight of all those years. Her role asks for her to live in the skin of someone who's been isolated for decades, living with what is essentially a curse, though her eyes don't tell that story. The script — when it's not making corny age puns — doesn't know what to do with her either, and turns her condition into a party trick when she cleans up during a game of Trivial Pursuit.

She winds up falling for a bland philanthropist (Michiel Huisman), who happens to be the son of her former flame (Harrison Ford). Now that's a recipe for something, but "Adaline" squanders the chance to dive in and get soapy with the situation. Periodic narration interrupts the movie and attempts to spin it all into some sort of celestial fairy tale, but "The Age of Adaline" just winds up being a cosmic misstep.

'The Age of Adaline'


Rated PG-13: For suggestive content

Running time: 110 minutes

Read or Share this story: