One Day is a modern day romance that explores the intricacies of a seemingly plutonic male-female friendship. But alas as plutonic as these relationships may begin, the film examines the fact that regardless of where they reside geographically, each character has a lingering and continual need to seek the other’s comfort. Starring an unkempt Anne Hathaway (Emma) and Jim Sturgess (Dexter), the heartthrob, One Day is, at its core, a sappy love story, but also embodies the qualities, as most love stories do, of a tragedy.
The film explores the relationship between the male and female leads as it evolves over time, beginning with an almost one night stand as the two prior strangers graduate from “university.” The plot digresses by showing short glimpses of their separate lives every year on the same date, July 15th. However, since the film accelerates the lives of Emma and Dexter at such a rapid pace, the audience misses out on the all important ability to build a relationship with these characters. Seemingly, in scenes the audience is not privy to, Emma and Dexter manage to keep in touch with each other more frequently and perhaps see each more often than the once a year scenes that we are shown, but the strict July 15th date seems to be the only time of year that matters to these two and it hurts the bond between audience and character. It is difficult to care about two characters and hope that they wind up together if we’re to believe that they only interact annually and only briefly.
In between these conversations, Dexter is seemingly bedding every female in sight as his career as a television host peaks and subsequently bottoms, while Hathaway’s love life seems non-existent, as she struggles to make something of herself between one unfulfilling relationship after another. Only when Dexter hits rock bottom does he truly embrace the feelings of love toward his long time friend, but by that point it may be too late.
It should be noted that the film does take place in the United Kingdom so the subject of Hathaway’s British accent is likely to be the topic of dispute, at least by regular cinephiles. Rather surprisingly, once becoming accustomed to “Anne Hathaway sounding British,” the role felt somewhat organic, genuine even. Perhaps the fact that Sturgess is a British born actor made Hathaway’s attempt all the more palatable.
It is difficult to recommend a British love story featuring Anne Hathaway, who most people seem to either love or despise, to a wide audience. While it seems to cater to female moviegoers, there are scenes and even some humorous one-liners that any warm blooded male would appreciate (reading between the lines: if you get dragged to this movie by your girlfriend, it’s not necessarily the worst thing in the world). But One Day misses its mark by failing to capture the genuine emotion that it sets out to invoke in its audience because of a seemingly rushed story involving two characters that we do not get to know intricately enough to rally behind. As a result, it is recommended to wait until the film is released on dvd “One Day.”
One Day is rated PG-13, starring Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, and Patricia Clarkson, has a runtime of 103 minutes, and is released in theaters everywhere this Friday, August, 19th.
- Jane Van Arsdale