Like Adaline, the film gives the sense of being somewhat uncomfortable in 2015, but while the movie makes a case for romanticizing the past, Adaline's story shows the limitations of detaching yourself from the present.
Lively is appealing, natural and often touching.
Harrison Ford's performance is the big surprise in this otherwise wonky, frequently shambling tall tale.
The conceit endows Lively's regal air of distracted superiority with an intermittent pathos, but the director, Lee Toland Krieger, brings no identifiable perspective, and the screenwriters ... hardly tap a century's worth of material.
This is one of those movies that have you wondering: Long before the actors signed up and the locations were chosen and the sets were built and the filming began, how did someone not say, "Um, we have a big problem with this story"?
This is a film that needs Amy Adams's twinkle or Sandra Bullock's nervous stammering. It needs a star with life.
Everything is just a little off: The plot is resolved too tidily, and Lively appears ill at ease - she's stiff and self-consciously ladylike, as if she were a little embarrassed by the material.
The Age of Adaline is a modern romantic fairy tale set in San Francisco, marred by bad narration and an unnecessary desire to overexplain random magic.
The Age of Adaline has a fundamental weakness: The tepid romance is supposed to structure everything else, so the film feels disjointed - a series of good, sometimes even great scenes in search of an organizing principle.