Movie Review: One Day

By Stephen Rebello

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Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess star in Academy Award-nominated director Lone Scherfig's movie version of a British novel.


Director: Lone Scherfig Rating: PG-13 Studio: Random House Films

One Day is taken from a bestselling, much-loved, very British David Nicholls novel. Based on viewing the movie version directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education), it’s not a book we would read at gunpoint. The film follows for two decades yearly a specific single day in the lives of a pair of Edinburgh College students who shared a one-night stand in the late 1980s—a bookish, politically committed working class girl from northern England and a handsome, self-centered rich boy. Over the years come marriages, kids, many styles of music, unfulfilled dreams, disastrous personal choices, let alone a couple of wardrobe missteps and some highly dubious wigs. It all ends in a random tragedy meant to pack a wicked emotional wallop.

For some, it will deliver a giggle and a massive sigh of relief. Those who already love the book, of course, may already be in tears when they buy their tickets. Think of One Day as When Harry Met Sally meets The Way We Were…only without the benefit of humor or dead-on casting. Whether or not you will be deeply moved, let alone awake, by the movie’s finale may depend entirely on whether or not you buy Anne Hathaway as a savvy, self-deprecating Brit and whether you detect any real chemistry between she and the gifted Jim Sturgess. Let’s also note that Hathaway, in a role tailor-made for the intelligent, acerbic Carey Mulligan, who starred in Scherfig’s much better An Education, is, not Carey Mulligan. Ms. Mulligan was, presumably, lucky to be otherwise engaged. You should be so lucky.

About the Author

Playboy Contributing Editor Stephen Rebello has written many Playboy Interview and 20 Questions features. He is the author of such books as the notorious Bad Movies We Love (with Edward Margulies) and Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, the latter of which has inspired a dramatic feature film set for production in 2012. His most recent Playboy Interviews include Josh Brolin and Cameron Diaz.


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