Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]
THE MALE GAZE SCORE:0
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
While the female protagonist does not start out with the primary goal of finding a romantic partner for herself [why this is a problem], what drives the conflict of the plot is Adaline’s dithering over her decision to engage romantically with a man or not. This is even more egregious than it might otherwise be given Adaline’s immortality: is this really the most important thing to have happened over the course of her incredible long life? (And if it isn’t, why isn’t her story about that other more important thing?)
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: Hoorah for a female protagonist. Boo that so little interesting has happened to her over the 80 years she has magically remained young that a couple of romances are the highlights of her life.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of The Age of Adaline! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of The Age of Adaline.