The Adjustment Bureau: Would You Rather Achieve Your Dreams or Find True Love?

The Adjustment BureauBy Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)

If you had to choose between achieving your dreams or finding true love, what would you choose?

That’s the dilemma faced by Brooklyn Congressman David Norris in the movie The Adjustment Bureau (based on the Philip K. Dick short story “Adjustment Team”).

The Adjustment Bureau is a secret supernatural agency who makes small “adjustments” so people stay on track with the plan. For example, they’ll spill coffee on someone’s shirt to make sure they miss a certain bus and are late for a meeting, changing the outcome of what’s decided there.

At the start of the movie, David briefly meets Elise, who inspires him to give a very candid speech. This speech changes the course of his career and sets him on track to one day become president. That was the purpose of him meeting Elise. He was never supposed to run into her again.

But the agent who trails David falls asleep and misses his scheduled adjustment so that David meets Elise for a second time.

And they fall in love.

The problem is they aren’t supposed to be together. Apart, David goes on to become a great president, and Elise goes on to be a renowned ballerina and choreographer. Together, his political career never takes off, and she ends up teaching dance to six-year-olds. Neither of them achieves their dreams.

An agent explains this to David, and asks him if he really wants to be the cause of the death of not only his own dreams but hers as well.

Love. Or your dreams.

That’s the choice.

It’s not an easy one. After all, chasing our dreams and having something important to strive for can make us better, more fulfilled people.

But if we reach the end of our lives and don’t have anyone to share it with, was it worth it? (This can mean more than just a romantic partner. Many people are so involved with their ambitions and chasing their dreams that they alienate their friends and family.)

In the end, David and Elise choose love.

If you had to choose, if you could only have one, what would you do?

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