Published Aug 18, 2011Based on the wildly successful novel by David Nicholls, and filmed in breathtaking locations in Edinburgh, London and Paris, One Day follows the lives of two university chums ― Emma (Anne Hathaway, sporting the same British accent she used in Becoming Jane) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess, Fifty Dead Men Walking) ― as they collide every Saint Swithen's Day (July 15), from 1988 to literally last month.
Sometimes they're together on this day, sometimes not, but they spend their 20-plus years flirting with falling love, career disasters, sex and finding other partners. But most of the time they just tease and rib each other as only two best friends can.
For a film marketed as a feel-good rom-com, it doesn't particularly make good on the "com" part of the bargain, attempting to be more potent and meaningful than that, with bittersweet, true-to-life situations. Issues of family illness and substance abuse hit each movie-of-the-week note, including lines like, "I love you, but I don't like you anymore!"
Hathaway and relative newcomer Sturgess (who will surely parlay this role into Hollywood clout) have great on-screen chemistry, but as much as the actors do their best to insert some heart into the blandness, director Scherfig (An Education) can't steer this to the right side of heartfelt. Sure, its' a nice story, but as the credits rolled, I found myself asking, "So what?" There's a derivative predictability to this, where you're just waiting for the film to hit each anticipated mark as the second act opens into the third.
Patricia Clarkson provides a memorable supporting performance (contrasted against Romola Garai's completely forgettable turn as a shrew) and at least the art department got the late '80s/early '90s British couture right, although that's easily achievable watching Four Weddings And A Funeral on a loop.
One Day's poster is the most creative thing about the whole flick, fashioned like an early '90s Calvin Klein advert. This is cute, brainless fluff. (Alliance)