Wednesday, March 16, 2011

3 Reasons That 'The Adjustment Bureau' Was Falsely Advertised

I didn't watch the full theatrical trailer for this 'The Adjustment Bureau' before I saw the film (which I am very happy about because it literally tells you the entire plot) but I did see a t.v commercial. From what I gathered from the commercial - it was about a mysterious group of people that control the world. Matt Damon's character finds out about them and now they are after him. It looked part action, part sci-fi, part thriller - but it was actually none of those things. What it turned out to be was very surprising.

1. It was a romance - actually, if you throw in some more comedic moments it could have been classified as a 'romantic comedy'. Nothing about it was thrilling and the only action happened at the end (and was basically just a lot of running and opening doors). I enjoy Matt Damon and have always wondered why he never ventured into romantic leading man roles - but I think this film is probably the closest he will ever get. He is so charming and natural in front of the camera and I think he often under-utilizes this talent. This film has him falling head over heals for Emily Blunt (and really who wouldn't?) in a somewhat believable "love at first sight" sort of way. They believe they are destined to be together but unfortunately the man in charge has other plans for them. It is basically a story that follows all the cliche's of a romance - "love conquers all" territory. I honestly can't relate to the love story because it asks the couple to give up everything for each other. I don’t really believe in love at first sight or soul mates but my real problem with their love is that I don’t live my life feeling empty or like my life isn’t complete because I haven't found "the one" yet. So the thought that someone would choose love over a fulfilling life sort of baffles me. I think that I would just feel depressed and resentful towards that person. It is not that I am not open to falling in love – I just wouldn’t change my whole life for it (maybe some slight compromises would occur…). I kind of just want to punch both the main characters in the face for being so naive. The other issue I have with the romance is that it is from the male perspective - we never get her story (aside that she met someone else that she admittedly doesn't love but somehow is engaged to him). Why didn't she take any initiative or use any of her "free will" to find him or actively pursue him? Why did she let him leave so easily? It doesn't really make sense.

2. It was religious - The main "theme" is destiny versus free will. I always love the exploration of this but this film put an overtly religious spin to it. Basically the film states that there is someone (they never say God but it is implied heavily) controlling every one's fate but if you fight hard you have the ability to change his mind (and your destiny). The films explanation of this person in charge dates way back to the beginning of humanity and these "adjustment bureau people" that are ensuring everyone stays on their path are basically angels. I was surprised at the overtly religious aspect because I was expecting something a little bit more realistic (yes a sci-fi explanation would be more realistic to me than a religious one...).

3. It was laughable - There were a lot of people laughing in the theater and it wasn't in a good way. I think it had mostly to do with the fact that it wasn't what anyone was expecting (I spoke to several different people who felt this way). Plus it just flat out made no sense. In the end when the main characters are running through doors (or portals) and appearing in different places was just absurd (and never fully explained - aside that it only works if you are wearing a hat). The dialogue was a little forced, cheesy and sometimes painful. I feel like it was a great idea trapped by mediocre writing and complete false advertising.

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