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Plot Details: This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

You haven't aged a day!

The Age of Adaline (2015) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Jennifer Larsen (Blake Lively) née Adaline Marie Bowman (“My friends call me Della”) was born Jan. 1, 1908 at Children's Hospital, S.F. At the age of 29, she was driving down a country road during a freak snow­storm when her car went off the road into the river. She passed out, her body suffered anoxic reflex, and her core temper­ature decreased to 87° F. Then she was struck by lightning which: blew her out of the water, defibril­lated her heart jolting her back to life, and curiously affected her metabolism and cell behavior halting her aging process. She could find no scientific explanation, so she has to live with it prefer­ably out of the lime­light. She is about to change her name again—to Susan Fleischer—and her appearance and her residence. But first she goes to a 2015 New Year's Eve celebration, also her secret 107th birth­day. There she is hit on by a young man Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman.) A voice-over tells us this is the “first and last chapter of her story.”

What follows is slow and stately preliminary dating relations. Instead of the middle stages of court­ship, though, they just hop into bed together, she having evidently once learned this "modern" behavior from GI's about to ship out to some European war. The final stage involving commitment she is unable to make … unless Ellis's aged father William (Harrison Ford) is able to persuade her to open up to life.

The good news is along the lines of the song, “I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad.” Jennifer so reminds William of the kind of girl he'd have wanted to marry when he was younger that he approves whole­heartedly of her for his son, so much that his wife gets jealous. The bad news is that it would be one twisted arrange­ment, some­thing along the lines of the country song, “I Am My Own Grandpa.” In that song, you may recall, a country boy marries a widow, and his father marries the widow's daughter. In sorting out his various relations, the country boy realizes that since his step­daughter is also his step­mother, he must be his own grandpa. If there is any resolution to Della's time anomaly, it will probably twist back in on itself in some way. She's tired of having to lie to honest people. It's enough to give a woman gray hair, except she can't get gray hair.


It was an erudite courtship where boy and girl exchanged poetry (and poetry books), played word games, and spoke foreign languages. Such being the case, I want to look at the title, play with it, see if there's some clue to the movie in it. From The Age of Adaline, I take out the minor words to get Age Adaline. Then I split the second word into two: Age Ad Aline, to make three words. Then I shift around the words to get: Adage Aline. Okay.

The couple share an admittedly stupid joke about a horse that tries out for base­ball. It can aline the bat to hit the ball just fine. It can pick up the line drives as short­stop. Its pitching ability is given in an adage. So all we have to do is line up the adages in the movie to see what it's about. Okay.

“The Age of Adaline” opens with a shot of the Earth from outer space zooming down to California, the setting of the movie. Right away we under­stand we're on a round Earth. The movie moves quickly to Adaline picking up her new fake ID cards: flat pieces of plastic. What's flat is phony. It's a well known adage to accuse some­one of believing in a flat Earth to mean he's unscientific in his thinking about the world. Oh, goody! I love this kind of movie.

Ellis first saw “Jenny” when she was reading nursery rhymes in braille. Nursery rhymes are de facto adages in their own right. Let's try to find one. In this movie a physicist/astronomer has an Aha! moment as he shoes a lady­bug from Jenny's hair and it goes flying off. The associated nursery rhyme I recall is:

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home.
Your house is on fire, your children will burn.

How might a scientist look at this rhyme in a way the rest of us are blind to? Well, a lady­bug is an almost perfect hemis­phere, and perched there in a woman's hair in place of a hair­pin or bauble, it would appear to a physicist or astronomer like a miniature globe. Her children are cooking in a fire: global warmings of a future generation. The walls on fire of the house would represent the cause of the warming in the enveloping layer of her home. That the ladybug must fly home means there's air for her to fly through. It's the green­house effect causing global warming, the trans­parent walls of a greenhouse stopping the convection of air that would cool down the plants growing on the flat floor in this (unscien­tific) repre­sen­tation of Earth's climate change.

Another way to look at it was when I was riding home from the movie on the express bus. The bus was hot because it was crowded and the windows didn't open. The bus was a tube hurtling down the street in the express lane, and those closed windows let in the light but not the breeze from the air flowing by. The Earth is a globe, not a cylinder, but at least we're not talking about a pie pan shape. As it hurtles through space, the green­house gases in the upper atmosphere prevent that cool passing breeze getting in. Wrong! There is no breeze from outer space; space is a vacuum. Leading climate researcher Alan Siddons states in a chapter of “A Long List of Misconceptions” that: In reality, green­houses merely suppress convective heating loss, preventing the heated air from dissipating. It is air that's trapped, not radiation; glass's response to infra­red (IR) has nothing to do with it …—it does not constitute a radiative barrier (63).

Now we've got to align ladybug with other adages. In the movie a saying is given in Italian then translated into English: “Years, lovers, and glasses of wine: these are things that should never be counted.” Our world has been around for years past counting. Just as a series of lovers will prove to be some hotter and some colder, so our planet has experienced the embrace of various climates over its time. Environ­mental consultant Prof. Timothy Ball, PhD in an “Analysis of Climate Alarm, Part 2” mentions: hundreds of research papers from a variety of sources confirming the existence of a period warmer than today known as the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). This period was clearly warmer than present temper­atures (129). There have also been ice ages. Wine comes from grapes grown seasonally. Some years are better than others. Some climate experi­ences like­wise.

Jennifer (Susan) is told by her forger that it's the little blemishes that make his work look authentic, and she replies, “Nice work,” but adds the adage, “Don't get sloppy. It's the little things that trip you up.” The sun has little blemishes, too, as it were, called sun­spots that follow an eleven year cycle, close to the decade period Adaline gives herself before changing her identity. There was even a period known as the Maunder Minimum, from 1645–1715 of a quiescent sun when there were NO sunspots. History reveals something very peculiar about that time. With­out the solar wind in conjunction with a strong terrestrial magnetic field to deflect cosmic rays coming from space, those rays penetrated the atmosphere causing high altitude ionization producing an abundance of aerosols that served as the nuclei of con­den­sation for cloud for­mation. Clouds thus formed are brighter and longer-lived than regular clouds. That increased Earth's albedo, the coefficient of reflection, sending more energy back into space than usual. So during the period of the Maunder Minimum, rivers froze over that should have been flowing, etc. They call it the Little Ice Age. There was a similar Dalton minimum and cooling period in 1795. Comparing the graphs, the next minimum ought to be along­—brace your­self­—in 2031. You can look at the graphs your­self at:


In this movie it was a collision of a giant space rock with the moon that produced an exception­ally high tide in Tierra del Fuego that in turned spawned a snow storm in Marin County, Calif. furthering the plot. The Good Book tells us, (Gen. 1:16) “God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.” In the movie the moon rules. The sun, how­ever is the greater ruler. Adaline could only find peace if she'd be able to enjoy a normal aging process. Maybe God wants our planet to age along certain lines. Maybe the lady­bug is better advised to continue its business as usual foraging for food rather than panicking about its burning house heating up future gener­ations. The cars in this movie speed, go off the road, crash into each other, and trap its rider, but going into the stream does not raise the creek level. It's a matter of scale. It is unlikely the internal combustion engine is going to raise the level of our oceans.

Production Values

This film “” (2015) was directed by Lee Toland Krieger. Its screenplay was written by J. Mills Good­loe & Salvador Pasko­witz. It stars Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, and Harrison Ford. Lively nailed it as a centen­arian in a young woman's body, but credit has to be shared with script, sets, costumes, and directing. She was very believ­able. Excellent supporting performances were given by Harrison Ford and Ellen Burstyn.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for a suggestive comment. A gentle pervasive music, such as Mr. Blue Sky (Written and Performed by Jeff Lynne), strongly evoked a quieter settled pace of a bygone era. It would have been easy for a movie such as this one to miss the period mark, but what must have been punc­til­ious attention to detail assured that it didn't.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This is a movie of moderation, that is it doesn't get carried away with extreme emotion, over­much drama, or weird science. The Sci-Fi aspect is not belabored, but it does tie in cosmic forces with Earthly happenings. I loved the physicist/astronomer character playing into the plot, but then my physics back­ground from my engineering degree would have disposed me to appreciate a higher level of science than usually found in chick flicks. This might make a good date movie because of its diversity of appeal.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Special effects: Well done special effects. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall product rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture was quoted from the Authorized Version, Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

The Ladybug rhyme was quoted from memory as verbally learned.

Ball, Timothy, & Alan Siddons, et al. Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Green­house Gas Theory. Mount Vernon: Stairway Press, 2011. Print.

The section on sunspots was first published in my review of “From Up On Poppy Hill” posted to Epinions.com, © 2013.