Movie Review: One Day

26 Aug

The books will never, ever be as good as the films. There’s no stopping that. That’s why it annoys me that everyone seems to be saying that the movie is ‘just not as good as the book’. Well don’t expect it to be. Like I said, they never will be so when you go into an adapted movie from a book you love, don’t expect it to be as good as the book. The novel will be suited to you. You’re directing the movie in your mind and that’s why it seems perfect to you.


I loved One Day (and all of David Nicholls work for that matter) and it soon became one of my favourite books of all time, and I mean that. It’s up there with Gatsby and Atonement for me. I love it that much. Like I said in my August at the Movies post at the beginning of the month, I was so excited to see this movie. Not only because I love the book but Nicholls (author of the book) was adapting it which could only mean it could be a great screenplay (he is also a screenwriter) and it was being direct by Lone Scherfig who is most known for her movie An Education. I couldn’t help myself but get excited.

Then the trailer came out and Anne Hathaway’s accent was shown. Emma Morley is an iconic character to me, one that feels like you’ve known for forever when you put down the book so it had to be someone incredible. I never would have picked Anne Hathaway to play her but they did. The rest of the cast made perfect sense but Hathaway didn’t make any. Boy was I wrong.

The film takes place over twenty years and shows how the lives of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew (played very well by Jim Sturgess) progress. The film starts on their graduation day when Emma and Dexter meet and speak for the first time. They share a night together and they promise to keep in touch. He leaves to do a year of travel, she decides to go to London. It’s. Wonderful story that has to be told the right way to do it justice and not make it look like a cheesy rom-com, like the trailer made it look.

Scherfig directs this film beautifully and it is told with an astoundingly perfect pace. She makes the movie fun and cute and knows how and when to use the comedy or the dramatic elements. As the movie spans over twenty years and several locations, the art direction has to be good and it does live up. Time is made clear due to computers, cars, flat decor, books and other and makes the viewer get really into the film.

Just as you did in the book, you will fall in love with these characters and be way too involved in it. Nicholls has chosen what to cut from the novel and what to keep very well so you don’t have to much of that feeling of disappointment if they haven’t kept something from the book. The script is incredibly witty, charming and possesses all the great qualities that the novel does.

As for the performances there is a lot to say. Emma Morley is a Yorkshire girl, with a strong accent but over time grows a bit more London. Hathaway’s accent is not perfect, it fluctuates a lot so that one minute it is really strong the either way. However, you can overlook this while you’re watching it. She feels like Emma, she acts like Emma, she behaves like Emma, she IS Emma. Hathaway is perfect for the role and I feel ashamed that I doubted her. Sturgess is perfect for the role too. He shows very well that he is a posh, stuck up, dislikable man but he changes (as Rafe Spall’s character points out in a beautiful line). The support cast is fantastic including Patricia Clarkson, Romola Garai, Georgia King and Jodie Whittaker who all play their roles very well.

This story is beautiful and the story is told beautifully in this film. Go and see it. It’s a film that has all the elements, wonderful script, lovely direction and standout performances. I love this movie and it’s one that I can recommend to a lot of people. The book is better so please read it before you go because it’s brilliant but the movie is superb. A heart-breaking, wonderful, charming story.

Score: 4.5/5

I went to the premiere for the movie which was really exciting! Check out my post for that too!

2 Responses to “Movie Review: One Day”

  1. CMrok93 August 27, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    Great Review! Sturgess and Hathaway are fun to watch together, but the rest of the film just feels like a gimmick that was done wrong, and brings nothing new at all to the conventions of the romantic drama.

    • aculturedlad August 27, 2011 at 7:24 am #

      Thank you!

      I think in terms of the movie it feels very fresh to me, especially in an age where romantic movies have to include vampires orJustin Timberlake. The cast was superb and I just felt that it was really original and quite charming.

      The book is brilliant and if you have t read it, read it now! Like I said, it’s one of my favourite books of all time, it’s so good! Perhaps, one of the reasons I love to movie is because I just love the story so much!

      Just subscribed to your blog, it’s very good!

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