Do Not Adjust Your Screen – Andy Burns On The Adjustment Bureau

Today is the Queen’s birthday, but she’s so wonderful she deserved a birth weekend, and that’s exactly what she got. Two dates in three days – for a couple with a young Princess ruling our roost, dates are not as frequent as they once were, which means picking a movie is a delicate matter. We don’t want to waste those few hours of adult time on a dud of a flick. 

Now, count me among the lucky, because more times than not The Queen and I are pretty much in sync when it comes to seeing something on the big screen. We both appreciate an action movie or something with stellar special effects. Since we were celebrating her arrival in the world, she was in total control as to what we we were going to see (well, we were also dictated by sitting availability and show times). While I’d have gone willingly to a romantic comedy if that was her desire, luckily for me, her choice was one I’d been itching to check out as well. That’s why we make a good team. Little did either one of us know that The Adjustment Bureau would be as much a romance as it was a sci-fi story. Throw in some theology and it turned out to be the perfect date movie for the two of us. 
Based on The Adjustment Team, a short story by legendary science fiction scribe Phillip K. Dick, The Adjustment Bureau is the story of political candidate David Norris (Matt Damon), who on the eve of a lost election meets a woman (Emily Blunt) who eventually leads him to discover a world beyond on our own and make him question his destiny and the notion of free will (not too mention doors). Sounds heavy, right? In some ways, The Adjustment Bureau is deeper than a lot of the typical Hollywood fare. I wasn’t expecting the fairly overt spiritual themes that give it much of its heart and I can see some filmgoers not taking to that aspect of the movie, but asking questions about who we are and what plans we’re supposed to follow suited The Queen and I just fine. 
The performances from Matt Damon and Emily Blunt were both solid throughout The Adjustment Bureau. While it has its roots in sci-fi, I was surprised to discover that the movie is, more than anything, a love story and one that hinges on your belief and investment in the couple. I thought Damon and Blunt had some nice chemistry going on, so I was engaged the whole time. Since his breakthrough in Good Will Hunting way back in 1997, Damon’s become a compelling leading man. He just plays determined so well. Meanwhile, Blunt’s Elise is equal parts sexy and spunky (at one point she flips Damon’s character the bird, but she does it so compellingly you totally understand why he’d want to talk to her again). As I was watching the film, I kept thinking that Blunt should be a bigger star than she currently is. It’s a shame she had to drop out of her role as The Black Widow in Iron Man 2 last year (she was committed to Gulliver’s Travels, a movie nobody saw), but her performance here definitely serves her well. 
If you’re looking for a solid date movie, The Adjustment Bureau should do the trick. It avoids easy definition and that’s a good thing. If you’re into romance or sci-fi or that rare combination of both, definitely check it out. And since The Queen mentioned how she could watch the movie again, I’m pretty sure I just found next year’s birthday present.  

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