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Article by Teddy Durgin

Will The Age of Adaline have a timeless appeal for both guys and gals?

It's hard for many women moviegoers to get their male counterparts to go see a good romantic movie... a "chick flick." Ladies, here's how you get your man to come with you to "The Age of Adaline." Tell him it's a superhero origin story! Seriously, we meet the title character (tell him it's Blake Lively not of "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," but of "Green Lantern") in the early part of the 20th century. She was born in 1908 as an ordinary woman, who eventually becomes a young widow trying to raise a daughter on her own in San Francisco. One strangely snowy night in northern California, her car careens off the road and into a stream. She becomes submerged in its icy water, losing consciousness and going into cardiac arrest. And then... a bolt of lightning strikes from the heavens, bringing Adaline back to life as... as... Everlasting Girl! As Ageless Woman! As Perfectly Preserved Lady! Indeed, from then on, Adaline doesn't age. Ever. Before long, sinister government forces in the McCarthy era are hot on her trail and eager to conduct experiments on her, presumably to discover Adaline's genetic secret so they can use her powers for their own purposes - perhaps to build an ageless and immortal army against the growing Communist threat. Who knows? She goes underground, crafts fake identities every 10 years or so, but always maintains some contact with the one person who knows her true identity, her daughter Flemming (played by Ellen Burstyn, not of "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," but of "The Exorcist"). Eventually, Adaline hooks up in the modern day with the dude who plays Daario Naharis on "Game of Thrones." So, you see, it's not a decades-spanning romance tinged with sadness and tragedy. It's "Highlander" with the period trappings of "Indiana Jones." It even has Indy himself in it, as Harrison Ford plays a man Adaline meets in the current day who wanted to marry her back in the 1960s. The complications that ensue when his character starts to puzzle over how it's possible that a woman who looks so much like his lost love could show up more than 40 years later are quite intriguing. As a film reviewer who likes all types of flicks, I found a lot to like in "The Age of Adaline." It's not overly reliant on the central gimmick either. At its core, it's a film about a mismatched couple with one half having shut herself off from love, and the other half who we suspect may lead her to a resolution of her deeper dilemma. The biggest thing the movie has going for it is its cast, especially Lively who really makes you believe she is a woman out of her time. It's a controlled, fully realized performance, and the actress' best work to date. I also have to single out Harrison Ford here. Yeah, yeah, I know I'm in the tank for the guy. Deal with it. I also acknowledge that he has put the Falcon and some of his performances on auto-pilot in the past and appeared less than engaged on screen. His reactions upon first seeing Adaline (now going by the name of Jenny) and then discovering her secret several scenes later are spot-on. And, ladies, if your man is at all into "Star Wars," there is another reason to see this flick. In the flashback scenes showing the Flower Power-era courtship of Adaline and Ford's William, William is played by Anthony Ingruber, the YouTube wonder-kid known for not only looking like a young Harrison Ford, but doing an insanely spot-on impression of him. If the rumors are true and the Powers That Be at Lucasfilm and Disney are indeed planning a Young Han Solo movie for 2018, it will be a disappointment if they don't hire this guy! So, there you have it. "The Age of Adaline"... a superhero origin story; a gender-bender "Highlander;" a "Star Wars" warm-up movie. And, uh, yeah. It's a pretty entertaining chick flick, too.

"The Age of Adaline" is rated PG-13 for a suggestive comment and some sensualit


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