One Day – 2011
Directed by Lone Scherfig
Starring Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson, Rafe Spall, Ken Stott
Written by David Nicholls
Early on, one gets a sense of the game they are being subjected to with One Day: what if we made When Harry Met Sally, but instead of making random check ins throughout their time as “friends,” give an arbitrary date, say, the day of their graduation, and check back in each year on that same date. The result gives plenty of examples of changing soundtracks, fashions and car models, with little evidence of any change in body shape that one might attribute to a time span of 20+ years. And, of course, we also get countless examples of how life without the other person is just “not right.”
When a story is weighted down with so much cliché and lack of nuance, you have to hope for some amount of chemistry between the leads. Beautiful as Anne Hathaway is, I have not yet seen the man who actually has had any amount of chemistry with a male lead. As for Jim Sturgess, I know he has been in a few movies I have seen, such as 21 and Crossing Over, but I’ll be damned if I can remember him in them. After seeing this, I can understand why. Patricia Clarkson is often the best thing in her movies, and in this one she cuts through a load of crap. She is not on long enough to give the movie more gravitas. Even the twist ending can’t help with that.
I have to be honest, though. I am not the biggest fan of movies featuring a prominently British cast. The producers of the series ruined Alien3 by doing that. I am also not a fan of movies featuring romantic contrivances. This movie, I have no doubt, will move people. People love to picture themselves as living lives of quiet desperation, even if they are not. Who knows, perhaps this movie would have worked better for me before I met my wife, when I pictured people in my past as my potential future. But I found my future, I love the way it looks and feels. The memory of this movie, just like the memories of past romantic entanglements, will fade. Even if the soundtrack, the fashions, the car models and the body shapes change, my happiness will not abate.
So even if my wife likes this movie a bit more than me, I have no fear of what it triggers in her mind. Just because my ass will be in the seat for the next Alien movie, it doesn’t mean I think it would be better to live where they are.
(** out of *****)