Adapted from the internationally praised and bestselling novel, “One Day” charts an extraordinary relationship. After only one day together in 1989, Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew cannot stop thinking about one another. Over the next twenty years, key moments of their relationship are revealed on the same day – July 15th – of each year. Dex and Em face friendship and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.
The latest film to come from director Lone Scherfig is ‘One Day’, the adaptation of the novel of the same name written by David Nicholls who also wrote the screenplay for the film. Broken down in a similar fashion to the novel the film follows the two central characters over two decades but only focusing on them for one day during each year. The narrative is an interesting selection as it covers such a large time period and walks a fine line between ensuring the audience doesn’t feel like they’ve missed out on anything too important in the intervening time periods and spanning enough time to effectively chronicle two decades, this film strikes the right balance here.
‘One Day’ is reliant upon the strength of the relationship of its two main characters to drive the film, and the evolution of these characters over a great number of years being portrayed effectively on screen. The film accomplishes this with great attention to detail in the development and progression of the characters and their relationships with each other and other people in their lives.
As the film progresses and the years move along the impact of their experiences is captured both in the main characters visual appearance and behaviour, the film generally moves along at quite a slow pace without being in a rush to reach it’s end point and filled with emotional drama and character exploration, projecting its story upon the audience in a quiet unassuming fashion.
Anne Hathaway’s performance in this role is very convincing, and when required she delivers her dialogue with a sarcastic wit and a wry smile which demands a smile from the viewers, a strong chemistry between her and Jim Sturgess really promotes the emotional investment between the two characters as they both effectively flesh out these characters to contain depth and substance , all of which is underpinned by a strong supporting cast.
After a consistent first two acts, riding the ups and downs of a complex relationship where ‘One Day’ tends to stumble somewhat is with its closing act. The films appears to be unsure about where to wrap things up and after moving past several opportunities finally decides on an ending which lasts a little too long, as well as being a little too predictable.
‘One Day’ is definitely a film for lovers of drama, it’s a slow burn from beginning to end which delivers some smiles but primarily focuses on exploration of a relationship which is just waiting for two people to reach the right moment in life, before it can gain some traction, which is something interesting to consider in itself.
I’m giving ‘One Day’ 3 out of 5 stars, it’s in cinemas around Australia from 1 September 2011. You can view the trailer here.