Thursday, 13 March 2014

One Day (2011)




I've never seen this until Sunday night when it received its premiere on Channel 4 because I've always had the vaguest of intentions to read the celebrated book by David Nicholls. I say 'vaguest' because a book everyone raves about usually turns me off.

As such this has been recorded off Sky Movies onto disc and left to rot in my 'to watch' pile for the past year or so. Channel 4 finally got me to watch it.

Am I glad?

No, not really.

The main thing a romcom needs is romance and comedy. Simple eh? One Day never made me laugh, but worse it didn't make me feel the romance either. I never found the character of Dexter likeable nor did I find anything interesting about Emma - not helped of course by Anne Hathaway's distinctly iffy Yorkshire accent (it's like she nailed the vowels 90% of the time, but the rest was standard RP English with a slut gutteral twang) I didn't see why we were supposed to be rooting for them to get together and found their relationships in the interim to be terrible ciphers; the comedian who isn't funny and is downright dull and the posh dull lady who has no sense of humour, yes I get it. No need to hit us all over the head with it, but I will point out that such character deficits would make more sense if either Emma or Dexter had humorous or interesting traits themselves. I don't know how better these characters are on the printed page but they're sorely lacking in this adaptation as indeed is the conceit of exploring every 15th July/St Swithin's Day down the years.

As someone whose childhood and formative years stretched between '88 to the early 00s I found this a just about interesting watch, and at least an aesthetically pleasing one. It's a film that looks good as it drops itself into each year (though it's not always accurate) but is ultimately hollow.  The story and characterisation would get a star whilst the overall look would get another.

Oh and by the time the pair finally got together (before the Cold Feet moment - and let's remember Nicholls wrote for that too) and I saw a typewriter next to a laptop I just wanted to shout 'oh fuck off' at their smug fairtytale hipster Lahndan existence.

A massive misfire from Scherfig, who had previously given us the interesting Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself and the great An Education.

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