Matt Damon and Emily Blunt play star-crossed lovers who fell in love at first sight, but somehow, for years, are kept apart. When they have a second chance meeting he becomes determined not to let her go but the mysterious men from the Adjustment Bureau are just as determined to keep them apart.
Richard Crouse: Mark, I really liked this movie even though I can’t really tell you what it is. It’s sci-fi, but it’s also an effective romance. It’s also an action movie that is quite funny. It’s all that and more, which makes it kind of hard to pigeonhole. Do you think that vagueness will hurt it at the box office?
Mark Breslin: I liked the movie too, although I suppose it was all part of the plan. I imagine the hope would be that all those genres will each bring in its own audience, which is possible. I think if you liked The Truman Show or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, or even The Box, this movie may be for you, although its far less menacing than those films. What might hurt it at the box office is its intelligence.
RC: As far as box office goes, I think the thing this movie really has going for it is the chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Sparks fly between them, especially in their scene on the New York City bus. It’s sexy, flirty and lots of fun. They are completely believable as a couple and as an audience member I was pulling for them.
MB: Yes, and I’m glad they let Emily Blunt keep her British accent — a sign of a superior movie. But I really think it’s an idea movie as much as a romance. It’s a preposterous premise, but everything proceeds logically once you accept it. But my complaint is that the details are so arbitrary: the doors, the hats, the rain; oh, and why are there no women in The Adjustment Bureau? Is the Chairman … a sexist????
RC: We never really meet the Chairman … perhaps he is a she. Who knows? Like all great science fiction The Adjustment Bureau isn’t as much about the ideas — do we have free will or just the illusion of free will? — as much as it is about the characters. Without strong leads this might have been a mishmash of arbitrary, unbelievable details, but with Blunt and Damon at the center of it all, it gels.
MB: And good secondary characters, too. John Slattery is note-perfect, and the arrival of Terrence Stamp halfway through has to mean things are going to get rougher. But did Damon’s campaign manager have to look so much like Eliot Spitzer? I found that unnerving.