One Day

This one surprised me. I was expecting "Same Time, Next Year" or "Friends With Benefits," but this film is actually based on a better (best-selling) book: "One Day" by David Nicholls. Of course this is the CliffNotes version, so you purists have been warned.

Two attractive stars head this cast:
  • Jim Sturgess ("Across the Universe") is Dexter, a handsome, wealthy young man, spoiled by his parents and by his quick, early success...which doesn't last... Sturgess is a terrifically appealing star, much enhanced by a tasteful dusting of silver at his temples toward the end of the film.
  • Anne Hathaway ("Valentine's Day") is Emma, a fellow graduate and a bad poet, who is averse to promiscuous young men. Hathaway has grown up on screen and has become a fearless and accomplished actress.
  • Patricia Clarkson ("Station Agent") is Dexter's mother. She is dismayed by his early success and can only pray that his basic goodness will eventually assert itself. Clarkson raises the bar for any cast she joins.
  • Ken Stott ("Casanova") is Dexter's father, a wise, successful man who loves his wife very much.
  • Rafe Spall ("Hot Fuzz") is Ian, the stand-up comic who just isn't very good...but he loves Emma.
Our two would-be lovers meet on St. Swithin's Day over 20 years ago. Despite our expectations, they did sleep together that night, but they did NOT have sex. Instead, they became best friends, with her watching a parade of young women pass through his life, and him watching her cope with dashed hopes for a stellar career as a poet. They come to depend on each other to listen to their woes.

This is a terrific series of vignettes that illustrate the twists and turns people experience: good luck; bad judgment; cheesy apartments; high hopes; low achievements; defeat; compromise. We follow them, touching base with one, the other, or both, on St. Swithin's Day over the next couple of decades. This is an involving film, beautifully shot in lovely locations with capable actors. How can you go wrong?

My own caveat: if you have any trouble hearing, you might want to wait for the DVD, as much of the dialogue is murmured. I could follow the arc of the story, but I missed many little bits of humor.

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Here is a link to a trailer:
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