Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bowler Hats Needed

The Adjustment Bureau
Director: George Nolfi
Cast: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie
Released: March 4, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau is part romance, part sci-fi with a dash of politics. Matt Damon plays David Norris, a young New York politician who's running for the state Senate. Before a big speech he has to give, he meets Elise (Emily Blunt), a ballet dancer, and immediately feels a connection with her, but is unable to get any contact info because she has to leave before security catches her because she had been crashing a wedding in the same building he's to give his speech. He had been down in the polls, but meeting Elise inspired him and he changes his entire speech so it's more him speaking and not the correspondents who help him with what he should say and should wear to appease the voting public.

It just so happens the next day he runs into Elise on a bus and is thrilled. They start up a conversation and she gives him her number. (Personally, I don't know what he saw in her - I thought it was extremely immature when she took his phone when someone was calling and answered by saying, "He's not here", and even more immature when she dropped his phone in her coffee. Like that's totally charming.)

Men With Hats
One morning David walks into his office building and notices that everyone is frozen and sees a group of men he doesn't know dressed in suits and bowler hats. Like anyone in his situation, he gets freaked out and starts running and calling for help, but the group of men sedate him and he wakes up to find himself in a huge abandoned warehouse. The leader of the group tells him they are part of the Adjustment Bureau and that they "are the people who make sure things happen according to plan". He tells David that he wasn't supposed to see them just now; that he should have spilled his coffee, gone back to his apartment to change, and had been ten minutes late. He tells him that if he tells anybody about them, that he will erase his entire mind and he will not remember anything at all or even know who he is. On top of all that, he tells David that he was never supposed to run into Elise on the bus and that he is never to see her again and burns the paper with her number on it.

Even though he only has Elise's (first!) name to go on, David doesn't give up trying to find her and three years later sees her walking down the street while on the bus and runs out to talk to her. She thinks that he had just blown her off all that time ago and doesn't believe him when he tells her he lost her number. She agrees to have lunch with them and the Bureau is alerted and quickly tries to come up with ways to separate them. They succeed, but David is determined and still manages to get to her with all these roadblocks in his way.

Why is the Adjustment Bureau so adamant about keeping David and Elise apart? Because separately they would have turned into extraordinary people. David is destined to be President, but could never be if he stayed with Elise because she is too much of a free spirit. Elise is destined to be one of the world's most famous dancers, but if she stays with David, she'll only be a ballet teacher for young kids. David is fine with giving up that dream to be with the woman he loves, but when he learns that her dream will never be fulfilled, he walks out on her while she's in the hospital after she sprains her ankle (something the A.B. made happen). I didn't understand why he couldn't just talk to her and say, "Look, I'm worried that if we stay together, I'll hold you back from being a great dancer and I think we should split up." She would have either agreed or not cared if that happened. Seriously, who cares if she never became one of the world's most famous dancers. There's nothing wrong with teaching ballet. She could always choreograph awesome dance movies like Center Stage! Can anyone even name a famous ballet dancer because I sure can't.

Eleven months pass and he finds out that Elise is getting married to her ex-boyfriend and decides that he does want to be with her (make up your mind!) and with the help of one of the members of the Bureau played by Anthony Mackie, he finds a short cut to get to the courthouse where she is to be married. The members of the Bureau have the cool ability to walk into one door and appear at a totally different location when they cross the threshold. Anyone who is wearing a bowler hat can do this. I loved the scene where he's running through doors and trying to dodge any of the members; I thought that was really well done.

Good movie, I really did like it despite some of my complaints. Personally if I were given all these signs that I shouldn't be with someone, I would take them all into account and be like, F it! They must not be worth it. That power with the hats is pretty cool though; that walking through a door and being closer to your location would come in rather handy, especially during the winter so I wouldn't have to drive in snow!

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