The Adjustment Bureau

 

The Adjustment Bureau is that genre of movie that is troubling for single people. Like so many other Hollywood confections, the Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt puts forward the toxic notion that another person can complete your life, that even if you have nothing else, this person will be enough. I’m not even paraphrasing. Those words are actually spoken by Terence Stamp in the film when he tells Matt Damon that even if he failed miserably at all his other pursuits, Emily Blunt would be enough, he would never want for anything more. (Now I’m paraphrasing).

Spoiler alert: I won’t give away the ending but there are certain plot points mentioned here that you may want to avoid if you’re planning on seeing the movie.

Matt Damon meets a woman in the men’s washroom (don’t ask) after he loses a senatorial race and is about to give his concession speech. She’s a dancer with a perfect body who is scantily dressed and carrying an empty bottle of champagne while on the run from security because she has just crashed a wedding (woo-hoo, party girl). I only mention those attributes because I have beef with the way Hollywood treats women like two-dimensional characters who only exist to fascinate and enthrall men: this character is yet another bad example.

Of course, they fall in love at first sight (don’t they always in these movies?), but oh wait there’s a glitch (the Romeo and Juliet theme never gets old) and they can’t be together because Fate has it predetermined. If they do conquer Fate and stay together, both of them will lose any chance of achieveing their dreams and the stakes are high: for him it means giving up the Presidency of the United States; for her it means throwing away a future as the next Twyla Tharp to “teach dance to six-year-olds”.

Sanity prevails, and Matt Damon lets Emily go (at first) but when he hears she will marry the man she has been pre-destined to marry, he can’t take it and runs a la The Graduate to find her at the altar and bring her home where she belongs. Whether or not she agrees to stay with him I’ll let you find out by seeing the movie.

I rehash this dubious plotline because my celibacy trip has me understanding who I am without a man, and I would no longer be willing to give up a chance at being the best in my field in exchange for one. Before, I would do it in a heartbeat. And movies like this support the lie, told especially to women, that another person is what you need to be happy, indeed the only thing that will make you happy enough. As though another person can be God for you.

Well, I don’t worship people, and I certainly won’t give up my hopes and dreams for them. No matter how he makes me feel.

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