The movie opens with some nice rock music as we are introduced to David Norris, the "youngest congressman ever" who is running for Senator of New York. He gives a nice, Obamaesque speech about young people being involved in politics, and he is doing really well against his much older opponent. Lots of shots of David with famous real people (John Stewart, Wolf Blitzer, Mayor Bloomberg) Then, a tabloid publishes a photo of him mooning people at a college reunion, and he starts to plummet in the polls (this is scene as a continuation of his immature behavior, like starting a bar fight on the day he was elected to congress). We find out that he is from a rough part of New York (Red Hook), and that is mom, dad and brother all died before he was an adult.
Skip ahead to election day, he is losing badly. He goes into the bathroom to practice his concession speech, when he hears a noise in a stall. Enter Elise (Emily Blunt), who has been hiding in the bathroom after crashing a wedding upstairs in the hotel. She is a free spirit.
They have an instant connection, but he is called away to concede. Inspired by their conversation, he goes off the teleprompter and gives a great concession speech that has everyone talking about what a great candidate he will be the next time around.
11 Months Later
David is working for a venture capital group. He wants to invest in green technology, but his friend and former campaign manager say they probably should not, it is to risky, etc.
Cut to random dude in on a park bench Harry (Anthony Mackie) gets a call saying that "he" (David) must spill his coffee by 7:05AM.
As David gets on the bus on his way to work and notices Elise, who is wearing a really short skirt (and is asleep. She wakes up to him staring at her legs, and they have a pleasant talk. Cut to Harry, who has fallen asleep and misses David getting on the bus. Harry wakes up and starts to run after the bus. Shots of him running are intercut with shots of David and Elise being cute.
David does not spill his coffee, gets to work on time, and everyone in the office is frozen as he enters (a funny scene where David does not notice that they are frozen). He walks into the conference room as the Adjustment Bureau is doing their thing (scene from the trailer) waving wants around frozen people and generally looking terrifying. Roger Sterling- I mean, "Richardson" (John Slattery) says "get him" and they give chase. David runs, but every time they open a door they can open it to any other door, so they easily catch up and subdue him. He waked up in a warehouse, where Richardson explains that they are the Adjustment Bureau. They make sure everything goes according to plan, and they have a plan for David. The plan was written by the "Chairman." If David tells anyone about them, we will be "reset"- he will have no memory and no personality. Everyone will think he just went crazy. His plan means he has to stay away from Elise. Harry feels guilty about screwing up and so tells David some more about the adjustment bureau.
For three years, David tries to meet Elise again, riding the same bus every day. Eventually, he runs into her, and they bond again. The Bureau uses their powers to try to keep them apart, but through a really cool chase scene in New York, David outwits them. He goes to a party with Elise, where he tells her about the death of his mother and brother and how he was inspired after their death when his dad took him to Congress. They return to David's house and make love.
Meanwhile, Richardson does some research and sees that, in an earlier version of the plan, David and Elise were supposed to be together. This is why seeming coincidence keeps pulling them together.
Bureau higher-ups decide to have Thompson (Terence Stamp) take over the adjustment, because he is known to be ruthless and effective. He talks to David in the warehouse and says that he can choose- never see Elise again and become President, or stay with her and ruin both of their dreams. He causes Elise to fall and sprain her ankle. David sees that staying with her will cause immense pain, and so takes her to the hospital, then leaves, intending never to see her again.
Eleven months later, David is running for senator again. He sees the notice in the paper that Elise is getting married. He gets in contact with Harry, who teaches him to use the Adjustment Bureau's method of travel (opening doors to anywhere) which only works while they are wearing their special hats. He gives David his hat, and David finds Elise in the bathroom of the courthouse where she is getting married and tells her about the Bureau. They are chased all across New York, but use the doors to avoid the Bureau. When they get to the Statue of LIberty, David decides to find the Chairman and plead their case. He turns a door handle to the left (which Harry told him never to do), and it opens to the Bureau headquarters. They are chased around, and are eventually trapped on the roof. Thompson appears, but then Harry relieves him of duty, saying that their love proved to the Chairman that the plan could be changed.