The Adjustment Bureau (2010)
Director: George Nolfi
“The Adjustment Bureau” is a movie that asks very interesting questions about the nature of reality and free will vs. fate, and then proceeds to bury those questions under a standard Hollywood romantic thriller formula. Matt Damon plays David Morris, who is in the middle of a congressional campaign when he has one of those cinematic “meet cutes” in a men’s restroom with a lovely young lady (Emily Blunt). Damon and Blunt find that they have an instant connection, but as it turns out, “fate” does not want these two to be together. And so “fate” sends a bunch of guys dressed like extras from Mad Men (including actual Mad Men alumn John Slattery, who may or may not have just walked from one set to another without changing to make this movie) to make sure they keep out of each other’s lives. In a way this movie is like Final Destination, if you replace the blood and gore with gobs and gobs of chick flick melodrama. Damon and Blunt wind up on the run from these fedora sporting agents of fate, turning this into a chase movie by the end. The whole device with these guys whose job it is to “keep the universe in order” also reminded me of the town drunk from the Stephen King novel 11/22/63. That novel also buried an interesting philosophical question under melodrama, but I thought, much more effectively. This is a good movie for what it is, but I always find it very disappointing to see a premise that could have been so much more with a little more effort and thought put into it. Still though, this is far from a bad movie. I enjoyed it while it was on screen, and my wife being a sucker for melodrama the sort, of course, loved it.