The Adjustment Bureau
The Sci-fi elements justify the typical romantic cliches creating an ultimately satisfying film.
George Nolfi makes his directing debut here from a background in writing. Most famous for writing the screenplay to the great trilogy ending of The Bourne Ultimatum he also wrote for Oceans Twelve and The Sentinel.
David Norris (Matt Damon) is a unconventional politician and meets the beautiful ballerina dancer Elise (Emily Blunt) the pair fall in love only for a group of mysterious men to intervene and attempt to keep them apart.
As previously touched upon in my review of Chico and Rita romance is one of my least favorite genres, I honestly do believe it suffers the most from cliches and stereotypes. The start sequence of The Adjustment Bureau made me feel like I was watching a trailer for another romantic flick, I was sitting anticipating the stars names to appear and the narrator to say something cheesy. This made for a very foreboding feeling as we were introduced to David Norris a politician campaigning to win a seat in the U.S. Senate. In a chance encounter (the Mens Bathroom) David and Elise immediately fall for each other and I won’t have been the only one laughing because of the ridiculousness of how quickly they fell in love. However this is justified later on but the main reason I was laughing was for the poor dialogue in their first meeting, it felt very clunky and despite Damon and Blunt’s best attempts was a reoccurring issue throughout.
Let me briefly introduce the men trying to separate these two love birds, they wear 50’s style suits and hats the latter being the most important. The hats enable them to go through doors and navigate the city with ease, thus enabling them to keep everyone on the right path. They then have a book each showing the path an individual is taking and any changes that might need intervening. As I said dialogue is a key problem and its never more so than the scenes involving these hat wearers, whilst they are meant to be showing their inhuman characteristics it always feels so feeble when they speak.
Its thankful that we do have this sci fi element because otherwise I would be complaining how generic a love story we have, but I believe that’s what the film is getting at. Some people might say the film is taking a jab at religion (the men symbolize angels sent by god perceived here as the chairman) for me it is purely stating that a one point everyone will have thought that perhaps someone (whether that be god or not) has a path laid out for us. The fact that love is used as the only way of breaking this path is similar, “Everyone has gone out of there way for that loved one”.
Overall the plot although nothing new offers enough to keep the viewer entertained, the romances cliches are justified and the main let down is dialogue. Overall a satisfying (no doubt helped by the mere £3 I spent on the DVD) watch.
(I’m being generous)