Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, and adapted for the screen by the same writer, David Nicholls, don’t be surprised to see quotes like “this decade’s The Notebook” plastered left, right and centre on posters for One Day, but perhaps surprisingly, it is actually quite entertaining.
After spending the night together on graduation night at college, thus starts a romance that spans more than a decade, following Emma (Hathaway) and Dexter (Sturgess) year on year as they fall into and out of each other’s lives. Even when it seems most unlikely, however, a powerful love in their heart always keeps the pair seemingly destined for one another.
One Day is a standard chick-flick, front and centre, but only checking in with the pair on the same day each year, it feels different to the usual big city, glamorous tale. Pulling away from feeling utterly clichéd (and far out-doing the terrible trailer), One Day develops nicely and it’s pleasing it takes so long for the central couple to eventually get together, spreading the emotional weight out over the whole film.
While at the start Anne Hathaway’s English accent is a little suspect, she soon grows into it, and as ever, it’s hard not to find the talented actress utterly absorbing. If you’re looking for a deeper meaning, you won’t find it, but Jim Sturgess is likeable too, and you quickly grow to root for the both of them.
The story is told in a very episodic manner, but Lone Scherfig crafts it well and the film is well edited to keep it feeling as one. It feels exciting and unexpected, even though you kn ow really it never is. One Day certainly won’t top Scherfig’s last effort, An Education, but you could do much worse this year for romance on the silver screen.