Philip K. Dick's 1954 story "The Adjustment Team" is a classic paranoid work in which the world turns out to be a fabrication, which melts away. So of course the movie, starring Matt Damon, is a "modern love story." Buh?
Like many of Dick's short stories, "The Adjustment Team" is a tightly wound little nugget of paranoia and weirdness, which explodes in your face and then ends. We folllow a team of unruly bureaucrats, the Adjustment Team, who need to make sure everyone is place for when a synthetic reality is "adjusted" — including one real estate salesman, Ed Fletcher, who's married to a somewhat overbearing wife. Too bad the Adjustment Team relies on a lazy dog to make sure Ed gets maneuvered into the right place at the right time — and Ed catches a glimpse of how unreal his world really is, as everything turns to insubstantial greyness and all the people appear dead or deactivated.
As we reported previously, Universal is making this story into a movie, Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, and it's now filming. And as is semi-traditional with Dick's work, Bourne Ultimatum/Oceans Twelve scribe George Nolfi is taking a lot of liberties with the story. Instead of being married, Damon's character single — until he meets a lovely ballerina, played by Blunt. Explains Blunt to MTV:
It's like a modern love story, but it's got an ominous sci-fi backdrop to it It's going to be exciting and disconcerting and strange, which is what I like about [Dick's] work. It's very cool and clever. It's got a really tight script.
She adds that the focus of the story is not so much on Damon discovering that his world is a lie, or figuring out why everything is fabricated, but on the dark forces keeping the couple apart, and their will-they-or-won't-they romance:
The term soulmates is used so casually, but in this case, in this film, it is true. They are sort of destined to be together and they fight fate to be together.
It's just barely possible that this will still be a decent movie — but the phrase "missing the point by several light years" does spring to mind. [MTV]