Beware men in hats, especially John Slattery in a Mad Men fedora. They may be the personification of Fate. Hats give them the hoodoo to block you from running off with your babe of choice. At least that’s what happens to David Norris (Matt Damon), the bad-boy congressman who meets ballerina Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) on the night he concedes defeat in his New York Senate run. It’s love, but Fate conspires to keep them apart until David wears his own hat and starts kicking allegorical ass.
Welcome to The Adjustment Bureau, freely and feebly adapted from Philip K. Dick’s 1954 short story Adjustment Team by screenwriter George Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum, Ocean’s Twelve) in his directing debut. Dick’s science-fiction writing has resulted in several fine films, including Blade Runner and Minority Report. But The Adjustment Bureau misses by a mile. Despite heroic efforts by Damon and the lovely Blunt to build a plausible love story, the movie dissolves into silliness. What Dick rendered potent, Nolfi renders preposterous.