BASED on the best-selling book by David Nicholls, One Day has been described as the romance of the modern century, so it’s little surprise that the big-screen adaptation has been one of the eagerly anticipated films of the year.
Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess take the leads as bookish Yorkshire lass Emma Morley and charming ladies’ man Dexter Mayhew, who have a drunken encounter on their graduation on St Swithin’s Day in 1988, and make a pact to remain friends.
“When I sleep with someone, I either end up crying or weeping. We might bump into each other in the future. We’ll just be friends,” remarks Em, after a lame attempt at seducing Dexter, to which he replies: “Let’s keep in touch.”
True to their words, the two friends stay in touch throughout the next few years, as Dex travels around the world while Emma slaves away in a Mexican restaurant in London.
Their friendship is tested, first in 1992, when they decide on a spontaneous whim to go away on holiday together.
After breaking a number of Em’s rules, Dex notes: “Me and you, it would be different. We want different things.”
Despite the friends working in London - Dex channelling a young Jonathan Ross as his TV career hits a peak, where he steals the crown as the “king of car-crash TV”, while Em, who is now dating stand-up comic Ian (Rafe Spall), trains as a teacher - they often lose touch before reconnecting again.
Unsurprisingly, the film, directed by An Education’s Lone Scherfig with a script by Nicholls, rushes through the characters’ lives throughout 20 years, as they deal with the joys and heartbreaks of life.
The challenge of the adaptation depends largely on the chemistry between Hathaway and Sturgess, but all too often, her accent distracts from that.
Hathaway - who has been described as too ‘glamorous’ for the part - does a pretty good job, although she switches between Yorkshire and London accents, with her American twang slipping out in certain scenes.
The casting of Sturgess is a surprise but rather spot on.
Although Spall steals the show as Ian, the other characters, such as Romola Garai as Dex’s wife Sylvie and Patricia Clarkson as his mother, feel largely underused.
The book is so well-loved that it is tough to do it justice, but despite everything, it’s an able adaptation capturing the spirit of the book, which fans will still enjoy.
By Shereen Low
SWEARING :: SEX :: VIOLENCE :: RATING: 6.5/10
(12A, 108 mins)
Released: August 24 (UK & Ireland)