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Film Review: Romantic Coupling of ‘One Day’ Rises Above Average

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CHICAGO – In the sure hands of director Lone Scherfig, the underrated film “An Education” brought Carey Mulligan to full light. Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess generate similar radiance in Scherfig’s new film, “One Day.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The narrative does apply some clichés of romantic comedies that could best have been avoided, but it also challenges those conventions with a shocking turn of events that deepens the emotional landscape. It is split into two halves, even though the more serious portion is only about a quarter of the proceedings. The low-key skill of Lone Scherig in mining new depths of purpose from her direction makes One Day a cut above the usual.

Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) are university classmates who have a close encounter on graduation day. They agree to continue their friendship, and the date the story drops in on them is July 15th, depending on the events of the particular year. Emma is a confused writer, who starts out as a waitress, and Dexter is a nascent television personality who morphs his small celebrity into a modicum of success. Their different directions challenge the friendship, but they manage to keep it going.

Dexter has to deal with the pain of his dying mother (Patricia Clarkson), and Emma sets up residence with Ian (Rafe Spall). While life happens when they’re busy making other plans, they maintain the connection that can’t seem to be broken, even through domestic partnerships, marriage and Dexter’s daughter. They are destined to be together, but in that destiny lies a poignant truth about the feelings among soul travelers.

”One Day” opens everywhere August 19th. Featuring Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson, Romolo Garai, Rafe Spall and Ken Stott. Screenplay by David Nicholls from his novel. Directed by Lone Scherfig. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “One Day”

Anne Hathaway as Emma in ‘One Day’
Anne Hathaway as Emma in ‘One Day’
Photo credit: Giles Keyte for Focus Features

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “One Day”

Anonymous's picture

”They agree to continue

”They agree to continue their friendship, and make July 15th as the day they will meet every year”

That’s completely wrong. The narrative drops into their lives on July 15th of each year to see where their lives are at, they haven’t agreed to meet on that day. Two or three years can go by without them meeting, or they may meet but it’s not July 15th. Did you actually read the book or watch the movie?

PatrickMcD's picture


Thanks, put yourself in the eagle-eyed hall of fame.

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