Youth and beauty are two things that our current society is blatantly obsessed with. But how would one feel if they had the chance to never age? This is the dilemma that strikes Blake Lively in The Age of Adaline. After a car crash, a lightning brings Adaline back to life causing her heart to regain beating after stopping for several seconds. The bolt not only kickstarts her heartbeat again, but it somehow stunts her aging as well. Initially, it seems like a blessing to never lose one’s youth. But throughout the course of the film, you get to see how being incapable of change is quite a curse. The world around you changes, and yet you do not. This is the same exact curse that plagues vampires as well. Especially if you read Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, where her vampires are depressed over the passing of years, and how they feel detached from the changes that occur around them.
With so many people obsessed with youth and beauty, The Age of Adaline wishes to pose the question of, would life really be better if you were to never age? You’d have the opportunity to be perpetually youthful, but does that truly lead to happiness? One could live a thousand lifetimes over the decades, but would that be enough, or is the importance of life more about the people who surround you, and the experiences you can live together with them, rather than living it on your own. Eternal youth in the movie lead to loneliness, and perhaps, when someone seeks out eternal youth through uses of plastic surgery, exercise, and fad diets, in a way you’re alienating yourself from living in the present, because you’re too focused on the future.
Just like Adaline, who had to flee all the time to keep her eternal youth a secret, we too flee, and become prisoners of our vanity if that becomes our only purpose. Beauty shouldn’t be solely equivalent to youth, for wisdom and experience can have a beauty of its own. And beauty shouldn’t only be defined by the mass, because looking the same as everyone else, doesn’t make you beautiful. Just a vulgar clone. Think about it.