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One Day movie poster

One Day: Movie Review

Genre: Drama, Romance
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Lone Scherfig

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson
Released by: Focus Features

In Short: It's always July 15 in this serviceable romance, which time-shifts across twenty years, while tracing the relationship of a couple who first meet on that date in college.

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One Man, One Woman, Twenty Years

Ever wonder what happened to that person you had a quick fling with in college? If so, then "One Day" is the movie for you. Acclaimed Danish director Lone Scherfig, whose "An Education" was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar in 2010, returns to the big screen with another drama about lust, love and the things people do in search of both.

Based on British writer David Nicholls' best-selling novel (he also wrote the screenplay), the film follows the lives of Emma and Dexter over a twenty-year span. Told in a non-linear narrative, the action all happens on July 15 (the day they met in college) but what is constantly changing is the year we are seeing. As the narrative moves back and forth, their relationship history unfolds. In the course of the action, the pair go from being friends to lovers and everything in between, including being married to other people and not liking each other very much at all.

Jim Sturgess and Patricia Clarkson in One Day Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway in One Day

Theirs is an odd relationship, as Emma is a studious, working-class gal who takes life pretty seriously, while Dexter is a privileged, wealthy guy who drinks, smokes and parties his way through life. It's often hard to see what keeps her staying around the guy, for he's usually quite a jerk. But that's life, who knows why she sticks with him, and the film does a good job of making the duo's relationship believable all along the way.

Anne Hathaway proves she wasn't a fluke as an Oscar-nominated actress with this role, as she assays a believable British accent throughout and transforms from a slightly geeky coed into a self-assured woman. Her Emma is a likable character, a person you'd want to have as a friend. Jim Sturgess is fine, too, as the rogue who gets away with everything until his looks and addictions slow him down.

"One Day" is certainly a watchable film, one that will keep you interested and relatively engaged in the time-shifting action. But is it a movie that grabs your heart and keeps you in the throes of the romance long after the credits have rolled? Does it venture into emotional territory never explored before? Not really. There's nothing here that elevates this above a decent made-for-television movie, except for the London locations.


Reviewed by Jenny Peters


(Updated: 08/19/11 CT)

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