One Day (2011)

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.




  1. Ouch! Can’t say I’m surprised. The trailers were atrocious and removed any chance I was going to check that out. At least, the earthquake didn’t interrupt you while watching a really good movie 😉

  2. Man, feeling an earthquake during a movie. Wow. At least you’re OK and so is your car. Whoo…

    I wanted to see this because of Lone Scherfig because I like her films like Italian for Beginners, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, and An Education (which I don’t want to revisit for a few years due to some personal reminders of a very awful day). Then came the trailer and I was left with a bad taste in my mouth and I try to avoid trailers.

    I’ll wait when it comes on TV. I love Anne Hathaway but yes, she can do so much better. Hopefully, I’ll write something for her soon.

    • This is just nothing really new or fun. As much as I liked An Education, I just felt like this one was too Hollywood and cheesed up to be anything cool. Thanks Steven! I’am alive thankfully!

  3. I was really hoping for this to be good, I loved “An Education” and “Starter For 10”. Something just didn’t happened like it did in those. And even though I’m a girl, I saw past what is targeted to draw me in and it just became a big mess. Great Review!

  4. I wanted to see this for Jim Sturgess’ face. Is that bad?

    For some reason, from the trailers, I thought it was going to try something different, taking heed from the success of “(500) Days of Summer).” I guess it didn’t. Will Netflix it, though.

  5. Sorry to hear you didn’t like it – and my goodness the poster was the worst choice they could have gone with. I really enjoyed both the film and the book, and thought the characters felt very real just like 2 people we drop in on occasionally. And I actually thought it was cool how that wasn’t always a significant day, but often a normal one. I think the biggest challenge the film has is finding the right audience – it’s being pitched as a romance but it’s really more of a straight up drama. Interesting to hear your thoughts on the film!

    • I didn’t really like this one because it just didn’t do anything really new or original with the premise they were given. So basically it could have been better. Thanks Shannon!

  6. I agree that it was kind of weird how it only showed the same date but at the same time I liked it lol. Anne Hathaway’s accent was really annoying especially as a British viewer! I don’t see why they didn’t use a British actress…
    Really good review!

  7. I forgot about all of the coincidences! The wedding they go to is on the 15th, his show gets cancelled, Emma & Ian break up, the film’s climax…wait for it…on the 15th. If I were either one of them, I would stay in bed on that day.

  8. My wife is wanting to see this movie. I really have no interest. Your review confirms my suspicions. Good review, I’ll get my wife to read this to talk her out of seeing it.

  9. “writing is very stale” – completely true. Something I didn’t mention in my review. Some lines sound so clunky its almost awkward. Hathaway sometimes states very british lines in a way that seems unnatural. Even a very sincere moment towards the end between Dex and his Dad seemed really hollow when the Dad stated “I don’t want to get all mushy though” or something along those lines. I thought, WE GET IT. WE KNOW HIS DAD DOESN’T SHOW HIS EMOTIONS! There was no need for him to literally state that he won’t get emotional.

    • Haha good point there my man Simon! It’s just clunky writing that doesn’t do anything well enough to fully have us involved with the story since it’s such bad writing. Thanks!

  10. As you know I wasn’t a big fan of the film. The concept of dropping in on the characters just once a year worked really well in the book, but in the film it actually hindered the character development and was just tedious.

    • The character development could have been better but they didn’t bother with it, it just blew and we didn’t care for these characters that much or even if at all.

  11. So it wasn’t One Day that rocked your world then, no? 😀 Great review!

    Cheers for the comment on mine too btw – loving your blog, always great to find good, honest reviews with humour!

    Henceforth I shall be on yo’ tail! (Well, on your follower list anyway ;})

  12. Love the entry! Well, I only focused on the the two characters played by Anne and Jim – but I kinda agree with the whole ‘gimmicky’ set up for the entire film. That’s the only difference from the book that I can pinpoint so far.

  13. I’ve yet to read the book, but I do keep hearing that it’s surprisingly good and deals with the characters and their relationship in a manner that minimizes anything trite or cheesy (though, who knows, I tend to wind up loathing most bestselling fiction). That in mind, I’m disappointed to hear how much the film fails on the writing front. Too bad…

    Also, this furthers my serious serious doubts about having Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. Ugh, can she be over now?

  14. Sometimes these Hollywood films by foreign language directors go wrong, Lone Scherfig has a good track record as a director, ahh well, you can’t always make great films, bound to have a few hiccups over a career. Think I’ll give this new film a miss.

  15. Wow those are some strong words! I didn’t think the film was so bad, it had me in tears at the end although maybe just because I sort of knew the characters already from the book. And on that note, regardless of what you thought of the film, READ THE BOOK! It’s really really good!

  16. I was hopeful for this film when I first heard about it, but it seems every bit of news and review I see makes it look worse and worse.

    Since I live in San Francisco, I’m not sure whether I should take a chance on an earthquake though… (Although for us, unless it’s a big one, we kind of go about our business).

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