In the Bible-fi escapade THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, the biggest crime was not the one perpertrated by the filmmakers against story logic but, rather, the one enacted against romance itself.
Elise, played by Emily Blunt, is a contempo wackerina whose idea of a fun midweek night out involves some casual wedding crashing, a quick stop to a nearby men’s room, and a bit of light boundary-crossing before fleeing the building while being chased by security. David, played by Matt Damon, feels an instant connection with her, runs into her randomly (or, rather, mistakenly since it turns out that a fate-controlling angel(?) fell asleep on the job), and, based on that feeling, spends the rest of the movie fighting fate itself to be with her.
What David Says
David battles the forces of destiny because he just KNOWS he’s meant to be with Elise. The fact that he doesn’t actually know her as a human being is irrelevant – the feeling is what matters.
Back Up And Tell It Right
While I am, of course, aware that this movie is a romantic fantasy, it’s a nice example of a real-world romantic fantasy that can get in the way of actual romance: the romantic fantasy of just knowing, with absolute certainty, that the person you’re with is “the one” – and, because you already “know” this, you don’t really have to do any work to get the whole thing started since it’s destined to happen and just be awesome.
The problem is that people end up equating the lack of KNOWING with the lack of romantic potential. Remember, the entire issue in the early stages of dating is that you DON’T know – you don’t know if they’re into you or if you’re even that into them or what they’re really like or if you can trust them or if they’re going to hurt you or if your time investment is going to pay off or a host of other uncertainties. So here’s the deal: the absence of romantic fantasy – your heart not going pit-a-pat, you being unsure and only partly into it, getting bored sometimes, etc. – isn’t a reason to stop. Invest in the reality of two strangers working to get to know each other rather than searching for signs that a higher power jotted something down in a book.
I’m not saying it won’t work out for David and Elise, but, really, hang onto that hat…