An old-fashioned fantasy-romance, The Adjustment Bureau is very entertaining and moving. I recommend it, even if Matt Damon gets on your nerves – maybe especially if he gets on your nerves.
Because, in a way, the film is even more amusing on political grounds than it is story-wise. Why? Well, wonderfully, the people who made the movie think it’s a liberal movie, but it’s absolutely not! What could be more entertaining than that?
The hero, played by our Matt, is a liberal Democrat congressman whose childish but harmless personal failings keep him from overcoming the evil Republicans on election day. As I said, it’s a fantasy. One day, he meets the adorably monkey-faced Emily Blount, a free spirited dancer. They fall in love… unfortunately, that gets in the way of God’s plan of saving the world through liberal Democrats, and so God sends his angels to break Matt and Emily up and get everyone back in line with the plan.
Okay. Let’s parse that. The theme, as I read it – oh, really, they say it out loud in the movie – is: “Even when someone very powerful thinks they know what’s best for you and the world, your right to make a free choice – even the wrong choice – is worth fighting for.” Can you find me one – one – liberal who believes that in real life? Uh… no! That’s the conservative position almost in a nutshell! That’s why we want to keep our money, Matt! So we can decide how to use it, even if you think Obama knows best!
So, in other words… Matt… and Emily… and the director and writer and producers and best boy in the movie may all be liberals. But God, the angels and the story itself – like all good stories – are stone conservatives, each and every one.
Which is a hoot. Watch it, and tell me I’m wrong.