Function Order: Fe-Ni-Se-Ti

David starts out the film as a ‘constructed fake,’ intended to lure people in by adjusting himself to whatever his test groups tell him. He wears a blue tie because it makes him seem trustworthy, he maintains an optimistic attitude because people hate a sore loser, and he easily charms people by including them in his political conversation (it’s all about us, and what we can achieve). Influenced by his conversation with Elise in the bathroom, he is honest in his concession speech about how much he tries to manipulate the public. He reacts emotionally to things as they happen—he easily can charm Elise and get her to talk to him, he shares his excitement with his friend that he saw “the girl in the bathroom again,” and he decides to throw away his potential political career for love. But he also leaves her for a time, when the higher ups tell him that it’s not just his career that will go in the toilet if he and Elise are together—she can kiss her own fame and fortune as a world-renowned dancer goodbye. David makes the decision for her to stay away—and then cannot live without her, so he chases after her. Initially, the Bureau is warned about him that once he figures out something, he doesn’t let go of it – he will think about it forever, and it’s true. He remains fixated at first on his political career, having chosen that for himself as a child when his father took him to a Congressional meeting (he saw his future there), and then becomes enamored with and obsessed with Elise, determined to have her even though three years have passed since they met. (He assumes she has not gotten married and isn’t in a relationship.) He also has a bad habit of being impulsive from time to time—hauling off and punching people in the face when he loses his temper, and flashing his friends at a class reunion (which comes back later to bite him in the butt, ha, ha, when the press publishes photos of it in the middle of his election campaign). He recklessly chooses to go “straight for the blue door” in his bid to get back Elise, even though it will endanger him with the Bureau. David successfully keeps her running all around the city, using what he knows and improvising to keep them ahead of the bad guys, in the assumption he can meet the man in charge and change their fate—and… he does.

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David has worked his entire life for praise, affirmation, and applause, and one of the risks involved with him falling for Elise is, as the Bureau man tells him, that she will “be enough…” and he will feel no more need to pursue a political career just to get attention. His ambition will fade. He adapts to whatever situation arises, and becomes whatever his audience wants from him. David rehearses an optimistic speech about how he will “get back up” after a setback and return to politics, and he does, because he doesn’t let things get him down. But he’s also emotionally motivated, desperate for a love connection, and willing to put aside his ambition just to be with Elise.