What I learned from the horribleness of ‘Age of Adaline’

What I learned from the horribleness of ‘Age of Adaline’


It’s been a month now since I’ve seen this atrociously bad movie, and I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s one of those moves that gets bad, then worse, then super horrible, then, somehow, so bad that it sticks in your head. Few movies can pull that off so well.

The first awful element was introduced right away. Every scene was mainly there to point out that Adaline is super old and has lived a long time. Maybe the director thought we’d missed that with the horrible info dump in the beginning. Needless to say, he kept retreading this just to make sure. We see how Adaline knows many languages, how she has an old blind friend that believes their the same age, her knowledge of not only movies and music but also the surrounding city and its history. Then her dog dies and we see the pictures of like fifteen past dogs.

(Side Note: dogs live on average to be ten to thirteen years old, so if she had fifteen as the movie makes us believe, it would mean she was roughly 150 years old. The only problem is the info dump in the beginning told us Adaline was born around 1900. Clearly, someone’s bad at math.)


Besides the lack of true tension and plot—again most of which was in the info dump at the beginning—the movie is narrated. This choice confounds and shakes me to laughter. This is best exemplified in the end scene when Adaline has her second coincidental (cough!—Deus Ex Macchina) car accident. The narrator tells us she stops breathing. Then we see her breath in the chilly air disappear. Then he tells us that lightning struck her, filling her with electricity. Then we see lightning strike her and her body shake. Then he tells us she wakes up, and…I think you can guess what’s going to happen next. In a way, it was like having a condescending audience member lean over to whisper in my ear everything that was happening—you know, just in case I was too dumb to understand it.


I know my whole description here may sound bad. Well, it is. But this movie is a strangely horrible event like a real car accident. I think for that reason I in the most guttural, human sense enjoyed it. I was actually sad at the end. I was hoping it would get worse.

3 thoughts on “What I learned from the horribleness of ‘Age of Adaline’

  1. We never went to see this one… Such a pity, because there is undeniable potential in the concept. We’re seeing The Revenant tomorrow – and, boy, am I excited! Now there’s a movie that will not have squandered its potential! 🙂


  2. Dare I say, I quite liked this film, though I accept that is flawed. The cinematography was luxurious, and was matched by Blake Lively’s sophisticated elegance. I see that it has divided critics, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near as polarising as some suggest. Just my view.


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