When Plans Go Awry
What do doors, hats and angels have in common? They all assume importance in The Adjustment Bureau, a romantic sci-fi thriller co-starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. While this film requires a tremendous effort to suspend disbelief while watching it, I believe viewers who can do that will enjoy the pairing of these two fine actors as characters who struggle to be together despite the super-human efforts trying to keep them apart. As an incurable romantic, I couldn't help being drawn into the movie’s fantastic love story -- and desperately wanted the star-crossed lovers to find happiness with each other. However, my husband and daughter, who attended the screening with me, found this film utterly ridiculous. I think they wanted more thriller and less fantasy.
After David Norris (Damon), an ambitious politician, meets talented ballerina Elise Sellas (Blunt) and the sparks fly between them, he accidentally becomes privy to behind-the-scenes activities of mysterious men wearing felt hats and traveling through magical doors. Who are they? Could they be angels? No one except David knows about or can see these men, who tie him up and tell him his future depends on never seeing Elise again. Why not? It’s not part of the plan. Evidently, David is destined to become a very important elected official if he follows this plan. And if he fails to do so, terrible things will happen. But David has fallen hard for Elise and vice versa, so all bets are off. Well, no one ever said the road to true love was easy.
Although writer/director George Nolfi’s film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story “Adjustment Team” tries to be philosophical about free will and spirituality, it’s the romance between David and Elise that works best here -- at least for me. Damon (Hereafter) and Blunt (The Young Victoria) convinced me that David and Elise belong together. Depending on the scene in question, their interactions come across as playful, loving, passionate, or soulful -- but always very watchable. The powerful chemistry between these co-stars makes me want to see them paired in more films.
Poet Robert Burns reminded us that the plans of mice and men sometimes go awry. The Adjustment Bureau suggests that even plans of a Higher Power might need changing at times.
(Released by Universal Pictures and rated “PG-13” for brief strong language, some sexuality and a violent image.)
For more information about The Adjustment Bureau, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.