Thursday, December 31, 2015

I don't think I'll ever understand why so few people care about history.

New Year's Eve is that magically awful place where many of us find ourselves looking either forward or backward, simply because that shiny new desk calendar we got for Christmas compels us to.

Typically, I find myself at the end of December not (really) ready to embrace the New Year, but instead shaking my fist at all the time/opportunities I squandered in the previous one. Maybe 2016 will be better, but outside of seeing my kids grow up right before my eyes (a fine barometer if there ever was one), I have this sinking suspicion that this upcoming year will be one thing, and one thing only.

The same as it's always been.

But at least I get older, right?
Getting older, not to mention fatter and balder never really seemed like something I should appreciate, naturally, until my wife and I fired up The Age of Adaline. The film, from director Lee Toland Krieger, tells the science fiction-y story of a woman (the smoky/smokin' Blake Lively) cursed with the inability to age. Adaline, after a car accident and a series of (un)fortunate events, is permanently stuck at age 29.

Wait, this is a bad thing? 

Of course it is, silly goose, as the inability to age dooms Adaline to a life of endless loss, frustration and disappointment. Due to the sideshow nature of her condition, she lives by a strict code consisting of roughly three rules: no permanent residence, no photographs and no relationships. Hell, that's not so bad, right? Well, I might need to amend that last one...

When we meet Adaline, at this point referring to herself as Jenny, she's at a fancy party with that ol' typical movie best-friend, a blind woman who plays the piano. Jenny, easily the hottest chick in the club, attempts an early exit to head home, presumably to archive historical documents and snuggle up with her adorable pup. Actually, one of her pups, as poor Adaline/Jenny has outlived more than her fair share.

Speaking of furry creatures that'll follow you home, enter Michiel Huisman as Ellis, instantly smitten with the smoldering blonde, and falling all over himself to make an impression. We don't know much about Ellis, but he's just handsome enough that his forwardness is something we'd tell our blind piano friend lady about, rather than say, a judge or local law enforcement.

Somewhat surprisingly, Ellis never emerges as anything other than the sweet, handsome rich guy he is on paper, and Huisman plays the part well. It's when Ellis finally convinces the ice queen Jenny to come home with him for a weekend that things spiral into madness. Well, as much as the most one-sided game of Trivial Pursuit with Han Solo can be considered madness, I suppose.

Equal parts trivial and madness, are the Yays and Boos. I don't think any of us saw The Age of Adaline being our final film of the year, but being that it's taken my wife four nights to make it three quarters of the way through, we're pretty stoked we finished it in 2015, Mrs. Two Dollar Cinema will likely extend that it into 2016. Fingers crossed.

Women always figure out the truth. Always.
So does Harrison Ford.
  • Despite the IMDB boards suggesting otherwise, I found the weird and mostly unnecessary narration to be pretty cool. This story seems like an adult fairy tale, so...let's narrate that sumbitch.
  • Jason Voorhees has never looked sexier. Truly, Adaline's rebirth is very similar to the beginning of Friday the 13th Part ___. (f--k, I don't know, V? VI? XXVI?)
  • The early running joke about Ellis is that he keeps putting his hand where it doesn't belong. Ah, the things we get away with when we're rich. And handsome. They. I mean, the things they can get away with.
  • If Ellis can make Jenny/Adaline laugh,the deal is that she has to go out with him (where boots will likely be knocked). The joke is bad, but it takes place in Fenway. So it's a winner in my book. .
  • Somebody tells the literally ageless Adaline that she looks great in a picture. Her reply? Yeah, well, if you've seen one, you've seen them all. Awesome.
  • There's a great apology scene that even that's such a lovely combination of awkward and sweet that may have been my favorite non-getting ready for bed scene in the entire movie.
  • Was that theater thing real? If so, that's incredible. If not? Slightly less incredible (though the thought of an indoor drive in theater makes my lungs
  • Okay, so...the cat's out of the bag...but friggin Han Solo is in this movie. And not only is Ford not bitter as f--k, but he's this endearingly raging goofball harboring a thirty year hard on). Cue the Chewbacca noises!
  • Speaking of, there's this guy, playing Ford from thirty years back, right? He is f--king incredible. While he certainly looks the part (it's pretty rad, let me tell ya), his voice is f--king dope. 
  • And finally, Blake Lively. I don't know what the world thinks of her, but I really enjoyed her here. She brings a surprising level of class and mystery to the character of Adaline that I certainly appreciated. Oh, and for pushing 90? Well, it's the curios case of my traveling pants unbuttoning. (I realize that didn't work, but f--k it, right?)
  • Man, why does the man have to ruin everything? Damn Red Scare.
  • Morning after kiss goodbye on the elbow? Only if that's the only placed unkissed from the night before.
  • Dude, never am I ready for a cute dog dying scene, but this one was especially tough. And I don't even like those kids of girly/old-lady dogs (fitting huh, as Adaline is both girly and an old-lady).
  • Hey, Adaline...maybe we shouldn't be driving so fast, huh? Just a thought.
  • So, meeting your boyfriend's parents is always a touch awkward. But here? Off the charts doesn't even begin to describe it. 
  • And speaking of, Mom doesn't get to be mad about that. Not that I blame her, but no. Chill the f--k out, lady. Pops is dealing with a lot of shit, you know? Give the guy twelve to fourteen parsecs to gather himself, right?
  • I already mentioned I loved how much of a Jedi-master Adaline is at Trivial Pursuit. I'm only booing the fact that my wife (and just about every woman I've ever met) refuses to take things to that cut-throat level). Oh, I don't care who wins...I just want to have fun.  
  • Things get a bit ridiculous near the end...and Dad destroys the door to his abandoned, second poolhouse and it's f--king hysterical. 
  • So, tow-truck driver guy? You's a real dick. Not only because you did that, but uh, you did it in a f--king tow-truck, asshole! That's like killing someone with a coffin and not putting their body in it.
  • The thing that undoes the other thing....well...that kind of annoyed me.
  • And finally, nothing against the movie, but tonight, assuming we make it home, will be night four of this film. Night four. Of this film. 
All this talk about time, let me just apologize for wasting yours, yet again. But the good news?

I'm out of time. I gotta go.

See you next year. And the year after that. And the year after that...


  1. This is an interesting premise -- maybe I should give this a shot in 2016. Happy new year!

    1. Happy New Year to you, too.

      I was totally engaged in this movie, and outside of one part near the end, Adaline is a solid love story with an interesting premise. Check it out!

  2. The trailer looks interesting. I plan on seeing it, but not rushing out to do so. But...uh...good luck to your wife trying to finish it.

    Nice Star Wars references, especially the caption to that pic.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Ha, thanks. Yeah, she's down to tonight to make that happen, or else we'll have to rent it...again. For the third time.

      Dell, it has been all Star-Wars, all day around here lately. My references are a little fraudulent to any die-hards out there, but at this point? It's all my son and I talk about.

      Happy New Year!

  3. Nice review!

    I still like this movie a lot, I've seen it twice now and for a main character in a romantic comedy, I think Adaline is one of the good ones. She is classy, sophisticated and funny - which is all the things most main charcaters in romantic comedies nowadays aren't.

    PS: The young Harrison Ford actually did Youtube impression videos and obviously he did Ford as well and I guess that's how they found him and cast him.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Thank you.

      I've seen it almost two times, and it's holding up quite well. I'm totally with you about Adaline, as she is a remarkably likable character (even if she falls into the dreaded rich, young and gorgeous mold that too many rom-coms exclusively feature).

      That's awesome about young Ford. That kid was like a weird special effect, you know? As he was so oddly perfect.

      I should try that...for Ray Romano.

  4. "Dude, never am I ready for a cute dog dying scene, but this one was especially tough."

    oh fuck it. Ford is in it so I'll see it soon. Don't worry you'll read all about it in today's RF :P

    1. Oh, man. You're really going to go for this one? Good luck. It's pretty terrible...

      ...but it may be offset by Ford's awe-shucks awesomeness.

      Good luck!

    2. Having sat through The Danish Girl last Saturday every single thing I saw after that feels like a masterpiece

  5. I just mean the dog scene, actually. The movie is at the very least decent, if not, good.

    But I've got this thing for tall, hot blondes. I'm weird like that.

  6. I'm actually excited to see this. Like, the reviews were surprisingly solid.

    Glad Ford cracks a smile...or something like that :-D

    1. I think you should check it out. How do you feel about Lively? Because it's pretty much two hours of her. With a spoonful of Han Solo toward the end.

      (and yes, in my book, that's a fantastic recipe)