Monday, December 5, 2011

Under 250: One Day

Sometimes a few of my friends and I will gather together and do a book club.  Our picks are pulled from all over the literary map, and a few months ago we attempted David Nicholls’ One Day, a rather acclaimed contemporary love story.  None of us particularly enjoyed it.  There were problems with the characters, things we viewed as out-of-context or irritating, easy outs snatched by the author that felt heavy handed.  It’s a story that feels so contrived that any ending will feel like a betrayal.  If it’s happy?  Expected cliché.  If it’s sad?  Even more of an expected cliché.  Unfortunately, Nicholls didn’t come up with a way around these options, and the film doesn’t either.  The book’s one strength was in the early push pull of the friendship between Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess).  Across pages we were allowed to see the development of these characters, the way they grew apart even while remaining connected.  On screen, everything reads as forced, every instant too pointedly formed.  Dexter is an asshole and Emma is a shallow woman we recognize as an intellectual because sometimes she wears glasses.  We do not understand what it is they see each other, or, at least, what it is Emma sees in Dexter.  Everything feels too easy, nothing is earned, and when the friendship finally becomes the love story we are groomed to expect, it’s terribly vapid.   One Day drips with a nauseating sentimentality that cloyingly longs for your affections.  Read the book if you must, but feel free to skip the adaptation.

1 comment:

  1. 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.


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