Those geeky plain girls may not be as fun in bed, but they sure are the best kind of friends.
After a romantic tryst on college graduation night, Emma and Dexter (Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess) pursue separate dreams. This romantic drama based on a novel of the same name checks in with them each year on the same date, tracking their personal and professional progress.
This was actually one of the first times a poster actually drew me into a film even before I saw anything else for it. Now, I should just stick to the trailers.
Director Lone Scherfig (An Education) sort of steps away from what she did with her last film, and give us this big-Hollywood romantic drama that she doesn’t do so great with, but still not too bad. It was fun to watch how the these two change along with the times, with the funny 90’s fashion, make-up, and the old-seasoned look they get latter on in the film. I thought it looked pretty but looks can only go so far.
The story itself is kind of “gimmicky” in it’s own way but there’s no real insight or anything into relationships or friendship. This is basically the same old type of romantic story we have seen done time and time before, with nothing really new here at all. Also, everything was too coincidental because the little events that impact these two people’s lives, practically happens on the same day every year which seemed a little strange to me. But these characters didn’t really notice anything so neither should have I.
Another big problem with this film is that it’s writing is very stale and lacks any type of real charm or likability to win you over. The way these characters are introduced through these 364-day gaps, is what didn’t really let me care for these characters as well as if they got together or not. As each year goes by, the film wants us to keep on wondering whether these two will actually get together or not, and when they do, it’s unnatural and almost forced in a way.
But the real big, bad, bad problem this film had was that it was way too manipulated in it’s own way. The score is the same beat that’s done slightly different throughout the film and seems like it borrows a lot from other dramas. There are also moments when I felt as if the film was trying to get me to understand more about these characters through their own unmeaningful subplots on the side, which did nothing and didn’t even let me care for them anymore than I already did.
The real benefit to this film is that the cast saves the day on this one which is really, really hard to do. Jim Sturgess plays Dexter and is excellent here because it shows a lot of the range he can go through with a character, no matter how much of an asshole this guy may actually be, because sometimes, I just wanted to punch this guy in the face. Anne Hathaway is good as Emma but nothing special and her character is a bit unlikable as well. Also, Hathaway’s accent sometimes drifts between a Scottish, English, and an American accent as well, and kind of had me disappointed since I know she can do so much better. When these two are together, they are very fun to watch but the performances can only go so far when you have two unlikable characters, that are falling in love and you don’t care about.
The real highlight of this film was not the actual film itself, it was actually what happened where I was at. I was in Delaware watching this film when all of a sudden, my lady friend and I felt ourselves shaking in our seats and having no idea just what the hell was going on. This was until my friend, Dave, texted me telling me there was a 5.8 earthquake in Virginia, and I felt it in Delaware. This to me was the best part of the film because I had no idea what was going on and when I got out of the theater, I was glad to see that my car didn’t fall between a huge crack in the earth.
Consensus: Hathaway and Sturgess are fun to watch together, as well as the scenery, but One Day doesn’t do anything new with it’s gimmick and provides cheap manipulation tactics, unlikable characters, and some pretty crummy writing that provides barely any new insight, humor, or charm into being in love.