on October 5, 2011
I have not yet seen the blu-ray. I just saw the movie in theatres. Many times. But I am anxiously awaiting the blu-ray release. It looks like the blu-ray will have all the featurettes available on the film's official web site, as well as deleted scenes. I can't tell what the aspect ratio will be. I'm hoping it won't be letterbox, and that it will fill up the whose screen on an HD flat screen.
If you've read the book, you know this is not a typical happily-ever-after Hollywood romance a la The Notebook. But that is one of the things I love most about it. It has a real, genuine feel to it. Emma, serious-minded, nerdy, wise-cracking and adorable in her insecurity, and Dex, a privileged cad who goes through women like kleenex, are two young people who officially meet on the day they graduate from University, after Emma has crushed on Dex from afar. Their romance was not meant to get off the ground that day, however. But the seeds are sown for a long and abiding friendship that lasts for the next 20 years. We get to check in on what's going on with them one day a year, the anniversary of the day they met. The relationships, not just between Em and Dex, but between Dex and his parents, his wife, his child, Emma's relationship with Ian, and how they each grow through these relationships, are the real heart of this movie. It's really about two ordinary lives in progress, which lends credence to the notion that everyone has an interesting story to tell. Unlike most romances, the main question of the movie is not "will they get together/stay together" but rather "how does their love for each other color the decisions they make and help them through the ups and downs of their individual lives?" and most importantly, "was it all worth it?" As the last scene fades, we know the answer to the last question is a resounding "of course it was."
In my opinion, most of the criticism thrown at this movie was simply groundless. 1)Anne Hathaway's accent. It's not Gwyneth Paltrow flawless, but it's serviceable and doesn't detract from the story. 2) Anne's character Emma is bland. I see this criticism basically from men. I guess they mean she's not "hot." She's not. She's not supposed to be. She's pretty, but is a bit of a late bloomer. She's smart, spunky, insecure, a three-dimensional character with a soul to soul connection with Dex. That's what keeps them together. 3) Dex is unsympathetic. He's a spoiled playboy who gets lost, as some overprivileged people do, but finds his way back. He creates many of his own problems, but is a good person. We can see that he is underneath it all, the same way his mother does. It's seeing how he grows into the man she knows he can be that is part of the movie's charm and impact. 4) No chemistry between the leads. Uh, there were times when I actually felt heat coming off the screen. Jim Sturgess was also convincing and stunning as Dex and does an amazing job not only aging but maturing Dex and showing his emotional growth. I thought I developed a crush on Jim when I saw him in Across The Universe. But this movie takes it to a whole new level.
The editing is the one weak spot in this movie. Some of the early scenes feel a bit truncated, leaving a few later scenes feeling a bit unexplained. It doesn't flow quite as nicely as Scherfig's last film, An Education. But the story is much more engaging and entertaining, and the characters are much more likeable and relatable.
All in all, I found it to be a very satisfying romance whose ending is very life affirming, and it left me with a swelling in my heart, a smile on my face and a little tear in my eye all at the same time.
I loved David Nicholls' book of the same name. I love the work of Lone Scherfig (Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself,Italian for Beginners). David Nicholls wrote the screenplay. The ever-lovable Anne Hathaway stars in it. This combination seemed like it added up to sure-fire box office success. I saw the movie in a sneak preview and thought it delivered on all that promise. To me, Nicholls had successfully boiled the essence of his novel into two hours of tight story-telling.
So much for sure-fire success: 'One Day' bombed at the box office. There's no way to finesse that - you don't make a movie with names of this caliber, come away with less than $14 million in U.S. box office receipts, and pronounce yourself pleased with the results.
Why the pratfall? I can think of a short list of things:
1) NOT your typical Rom-Com: Those who went thinking they'd get a light Rom-Com were in for a shock. There's a far deeper, more serious tale taking place here.
2) Stunning, abrupt denouement: The twist of fate that suddenly befalls Hathaway's Emma isn't something mainstream U.S. audiences would expect of their romantic lead.
3) Dexter's sliding likability: Jim Sturgess's Dexter starts off likable - he's the popular man on campus. Nicholls' book tracks Dexter's 20-year slide to dissolution, while Emma's path inexorably arches upwards past him, from ugly duckling to attractive, winsome success (Anne Hathaway's calling card for over a decade). These dual, compelling transformations makes for compelling reading. On screen, though, the adult Dexter becomes increasingly unlikable.
4) Anne Hathaway as a Brit: I'm an Anne Hathaway fan, but I never bought into her as British. The whole time I thought: "That's Anne Hathaway trying on a British accent." Never thought I'd say this but...Anne Hathaway, you're no Renee Zellweger.
For those of you who passed this up in the theater, I do recommend you check this out for home viewing...just don't expect an hour and 47 minutes of lighthearted fluff.
ONE DAY is a gentle surprise of a film. Though the premise of a 20 year friendship turning into love is not a new one, the finesse the two main actors bring to this story makes it work like a fresh peach. Based on a novel by David Nicholls (who also write the screenplay) and directed with a fine sense of momentum by Lone Schering, this is a little romance with several rhapsodic and clever twists that tosses in a bit of historical interest just to keep things rolling.
In a British weather lore proverb it is stated that if it rains on St. Swithin's day July 15th there will be rain for 40 days. In ONE DAY (we visit St. Swithin's day for 20 years) Dexter (Jim Sturgess) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) formally meet on July 15, 1986 as they graduate from college: each has big dreams for the future, and quite by accident they spend the night together - in a rather platonic way. They part ways as friends and as the years go by they both find themselves in jobs not quite up to their dreams: Emma waitresses at a TexMex grill while Dexter ends up in a tacky position as a front man for a low class television show. Dexter is a ladies man and has multiple partners while Emma is more reserved and only attaches to one - Ian (Rafe Spall) - who is a boring standup comedian, but is available. Dexter's girls tend toward the glamorous, including Suki (Georgia King) and Sylvie (Romola Garai) with whom he has a child, only to discover that Sylvie's taste in romance matches Dexter's Lothario role. Every year on July 15th Emma and Dexter meet, finally realizing that they are in love. Circumstances intervene to this perfect love story and the ending is unexpectedly touching.
There are some fine cameo roles in the film, especially Patricia Clarkson and Ken Stott as Dexter's parents. One fascinating aspect of the film is watching the styles in hair and clothes change over the 20 years as well as the introduction of all the accoutrements of today. Times have changed as much as Emma and Dexter have changed, and that makes the film work even better. Hathaway and Sturgess are superb, creating tow credible characters about whom we can care. Grady Harp, December 11
on August 31, 2011
One Day is one of those films that you will either just "get" or you won't. It's either your cup of tea or it isn't. It was most definitely my cup of tea.
Based on the David Nicholls novel of the same name, the story follows college pals Emma and Dex and their relationship over the 20 years following their graduation, but we only get to see the relationship one day out of the year, the day they met. Emma secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) loves him. He loves her, too, but just doesn't know it yet. Picture a serious version of When Harry Met Sally. However, what I liked best about this film is that it's about two lives, not about a perfect, happily-ever-after Hollywood ending. It's about lives in progress. Sad, tragic things happen, but the ending is strongly life-affirming. The characters are not especially tragic or sympathetic, they are just people, like any other people you would meet in everyday life. And it doesn't end wrapped up in a nice, lovely, idyllic bow, just the way you hoped it would, like The Notebook.
The subtle human touches are the life of this film, and I had to see it more than once to catch all of them. Like when Dex's mother expresses her concern for her son's future and his lifestyle choices. Later, when Dex's father tells him mom would be proud, in order to make Dexter feel better, Dex knows it's not true. And the irony of Dex's distant relationship with his father, who ends up giving Dex the best, most helpful advice he could have received.
The love between these two characters takes years to get off the ground, but that makes it all the more moving when it finally happens. The chemistry between the leads Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess is palpable as well. There are times you can almost feel the heat coming off the screen.
The editing is really the one weak spot in the film. Scenes were cut short in the interest of time that left later scenes feeling a bit unexplained. It doesn't flow as nicely as Scherfig's last film An Education, but the story is much more engaging, charming and moving, and the characters much more relatable and likeable. I enjoyed this film far more than An Education.
It's a romance, so by its very nature the audience is females, either teens or middle aged women starved for a little romance. For me, this film delivered big time.
on January 14, 2012
This music soundtrack (Rachel Portman) with so many great songs from 'Elvis Costello', 'Fatboy Slim', and 'Tears For Fears', lends so much to this movie. They are as diverse as the two lead characters can be. This is directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education), from the novel and screenplay written by David Nicholls, who always adds a great mix of music to her movies. We meet Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter-"Dex" (Jim Sturgess) on the night of their graduation from their University in England. This is the night in which this unlikely couple gets together on the 15th of July, 1988. The time spent is full of awkwardness, so much so it is palpable to the viewer. They are so uncomfortable with each other until the point of resignation to remain platonic, with Dex adding, "Maybe we could just be friends". At the time it is a good idea for the both of them although can it remain this way? A different sort of romantic film where we watch these two growing up in their adult lives and carving out their places in the world. Riddled with some twists and turns that are unexpected and then finessed makes this not your usual fare.
This 'friendship' will span lofty decades in which the two faithfully get together every "One Day" of each and every year. This day always being July 15th. The Anniversary of Them ...
Emma being the more scholastic type with a well rounded disposition, she has a razor sharp wit and is very sweet along with being quite caring. Dex continues being more the extrovert along with his dalliances with women. Something intangible remains with these two from that night together, each intrigued with the other as they head off in separate directions to lead their own lives. This again until they reach July 15th once again. Dex takes a much more worldly approach to his employment, although briefly takes a position as an English teacher then quickly changes his course to fame. He becomes a mildly popular host of a dance-type program and also a personality of note on television, to the disapproval of his parents (mainly his father). His mother, portrayed by the always wonderful Patricia Clarkson, is more understanding of her son although shares a much shorter screen time.
Emma and Dex go forward with their lives separately now after being together on the same July day as the year before. Dex is building his popularity and womanizing and Emma is working in a dead-end job in a Tex-Mex restaurant. This is where she meets her sort of boyfriend, Ian Whitehead (Rafe Spall). They eventually move into a flat together and she finally finishes some schooling and becomes a teacher herself. Dex is getting into all kinds of trouble and meeting with Emma to discuss issues at hand or to just be together annually. Through thick and thin these two carve out their lives during many years of pitfalls and meetings with each other ... in London, in Paris, they never lose track of the other. The timing never seems right for the two of them to be together although the subject is flirted with every year, the 'what ifs' or 'the maybes'. They help each other as much as hurt themselves by hiding their obvious love for one another. Twenty years is so long to be holding onto what could have been. When the time is right and Dex is at his wits end with his life in disarray he goes to Paris on the fateful July day. Emma is with her new and exciting boyfriend, a Frenchman, and has to decide if her love for Dex is a sure thing. Could their love be that one special love of a lifetime? Should they take that gamble?
It is at about this point that the movie takes a massive shift in the plot and I never expected this twist but surprisingly it did not anger me but had me questioning; I was completely bewildered.
This movie has been classed in the Romantic Comedy genre, although I maybe snickered a couple of times because of Emma's quick razor-sharp retorts and a sharp wit she does have a large store of. I would definitely say this is a drama containing lots of romantic leanings, loving gestures, and a total sweeping of 'opposites attract' that carries this couple along through the years. The whole premise of meeting every year on the anniversary date of their first meeting is overtly romantic. Yes, this is a subjective romantic movie, thus the scattered reviews from a vehement "I hate it" to "I love it".
on December 4, 2011
Maybe if I had read the book this movie is based on, the movie would not have lived up to it. As it is I experienced the story's poignant insights solely through this movie and they resonate strongly with me. A central message in this movie is that what makes us fall in love with someone doesn't always have to do with what we admire about them. We fall in love with who we are the most equal to.
On the surface, Anne and Jim's characters are opposites but if you think about it they are really more alike than not. One giveaway of this is that Dexter's mother points out how she hates his hosting voice and later Emma recommends against him using that voice on his show. It's a subtle way of showing that Emma may be different from him on the surface, but underneath she's like Dexter's mother, who he connects with very naturally. Many of the "differences" about the two people are due to the fact that Dexter is screwed up. But she sees him for what he can be at his best. This kind of instictive, honest love doesn't enflate our ego, but remains even when we're at our worst ("I love you, I just dont LIKE you anymore"), giving us the opportunity to be something worthwhile. The other differences are less like differences and more like compliments (She's smart and responsible and he's spontaneous and draws her out).
The choices the two characters make, especially Dexter's, give the movie the suspense it needs. I'm normally lukewarm towards Anne Hathaway but I really thought she fit this part well. She had amazing chemistry with Jim Sturgess and her uncanny ability to look nerdy and childish from one angle and elegant and vulnerable from another worked well for the character. Without giving the ending away, I felt like the screenwriters gave us enough movie after the "major plot twist" to deal with the emotions it caused. It left you with a better feeling than you imagined you could have. I'm totally bewildered that this movie isn't more popular :)
on January 14, 2012
I'm glad I just rented (for $0.99 here on Amazon) instead of buying. I love Anne Hathaway, and Jim Sturgess isn't bad to look at sometimes...they are both good actors and had great chemistry on screen. The rest of this review might be kind of a SPOILER, so read with caution. I know a main point to the movie is to see Jim's character, Dex, transform from a carefree, bed-hopping playboy to a tender, caring, more responsible adult deserving of Emma's love...I get that. I just feel like his low points in the story could have been drawn out longer and maybe made more complex. I think the skipping from year to year was all done a little too fast at times to properly display those low moments in his life that were so important for Dex to overcome so he could become who we see at the end of the story. Emma's story was kind of, well, really predictable and cliche, and, I felt bad for her during most of the movie...she seems to just be waiting around for Dex while we see her living her boring life. She seems to have things "happening" for her, but, secretly, she's still just waiting around for Dex. Most of the ending was predictable and sad and made me mad, too, because it was so bittersweet. It reminded me of the ending to City of Angels. I was entertained while watching, and I cried a little. It was nice to have a good cry. OK for a rental. Wouldn't pay more than $13 to buy it on bluray, though. Sorry if this review isn't helpful.
on January 12, 2012
I have nothing to say, other then the acting was surprisingly good and I found the characters very likable. I cared about them. I enjoyed following them on their journey. I was quite surprised, pleasantly surprised. It's well worth renting.
This is one of those films that should be studied in film class because it speaks to what is so difficult about making quality movies. If you examine each of the components - the actors, the script, the locations, the cinematography, and the plot....well, not the plot. And certainly not the direction or editing. But if you look at each of those first four things I mentioned, they were good enough.
But somewhere along the line, probably having to do with weak direction and editing, and perhaps a plot that has already been done several times (boy meets girl now and then over long period of time, and even though they are hot for each other they never get together until the end) "One Day" ended up completely lacking any real emotion, depth, or integrity. I'm told its brought in $56 million world wide, which is a credit to the drawing power of the two young leads, I suppose.
SPOILER ALERT: (If my review so far hasn't already spoiled this flick for you.) I realize that part of the plot was the transformation of the male lead from a person that basically has no character or integrity into a person who ...well, we don't really ever find out. At the end we learn that the feels bad about losing the love of his life. And he likes to take walks with his daughter.
Perhaps its my lack of British sensibility. The British love "cheeky" dialogue, fancy cars, angst-ridden, pathetic, wealthy male leads (see most of Hugh Grant's career), and my daughters tell me Jim Sturgess is attractive. But he lacked all sense of value. And even this would have been OK if that fact had been developed. But basically the Sturgess character is unrelatable, goes nowhere, and that's not a good thing for one of the two leads in a movie.
God, the worst moment in the movie had to be about 85% of the way through when Anne Hathaway gets on the bike in traffic. At this point, my family had a pretty good sense of the lack of creativity in the plot/direction, so as the same motor cycle kept racing by her several times, from a variety of camera angles (no, not for effect, I assume just terrible editing), I turn to my wife and say, "Oh no. They are going to kill her off in an accident." She says, "That wouldn't make sense, but I share your concern."
Literally 30 seconds, one turn, and one alley later (and the motor cycle is long gone), Anne Hathaway gets flattened by a medium sized, very fast moving truck. I don't mean she got hit. She got destroyed! I haven't seen a collision this brutal (in a non-action flick) since Brad Pitt got nailed after the coffee shop scene in "Meet Joe Black." It was cheap, completely telegraphed, inappropriate, and terribly done. Whatever shred of cred was left before that scene, was long gone.
Hathaway the actress is very good at developing endearing personalities on screen. She comes off as a young woman any young man would love to date. But for some reason, she ends up with a guy who "...sits around playing games and farting in the apartment..." The scenes in the Mexican restaurant were cute, but right out of "Princess Diaries." So as in real life, Anne Hathaway falls for the wrong man, and we have to watch her suffer for it for well over an hour, until it appears that he may have changed into a great guy. But "bloody heck," that lorry takes her out before their new relationship can develop.
Wow, this film was terrible! Even my wife and daughters were heckling the television (about twenty minutes after I started) at the end.
Two stars - one for Anne Hathaway's huge eyes, and one for the actress who had a minor role playing Sturgess's mother, dying from cancer, who even in her tiny role, stood out as the best of the cast.
on June 10, 2014
This movie starts out with so much potential to be a great romance...And then in the final 30 minutes there's needless tragedy that, quite honestly, pissed me off and reminded me of Remember Me with Robert Pattinson - which I also loved...until the final 15 minutes. (People who have watched Remember Me should understand what I'm referencing.) If you're looking for a feel-good romantic movie, do NOT watch this. It winds up being heart-breaking, sad, and disappointing in the end. I understand the poignancy they were going for, but when someone has suffered quite a bit in a movie, it seems heartless to throw in more last-minute tragedy just for shock value. There was some resolution after the HUGE moment of disappointment, but not enough to redeem the entire movie. I walked away feeling much like the male lead did near the end - like I'd just been teased with this epic love story and then got sucker-punched and was left feeling angry, confused and bereft. Not a good way to end up feeling after getting your hopes up for something that, up to the last 1/4 of the movie, was on its way to becoming one of my favorite movies. Now I'm annoyed that I invested the time watching it.