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DVD Review: One Day

November 29, 2011

One Day – An Alliance Films’ Release

DVD Release Date: November 29th, 2011

Rated PG for sexual content, mature themes and substance abuse

Running time: 108 minutes

Lone Scherfig (dir.)

David Nicholls (writer)

Based on the novel by David Nicholls

Rachel Portman (music)

Anne Hathaway as Emma

Jim Sturgess as Dexter

Rafe Spall as Ian

Patricia Clarkson as Alison

Our reviews below:


One Day DVD Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

Books and movies are always made up of selected moments from our characters’ lives, but this is especially true in One Day.  For over twenty years, we follow the constantly changing friendship and relationship between Dexter (Jim Sturgess) and Emma (Anne Hathaway), but we only ever catch up with them on the 15th of July.  Often together and sometimes apart, the flashes we get of the story is enough for us to experience the nuances in their relationship over the years.

Adapted from the book by David Nicholls, director Lone Scherfig’s film has a nice symmetry to the narrative that keeps coming up throughout the story.  Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess have a believable chemistry together, which is a big part of what keeps us interested in their story.  Although it doesn’t reinvent the genre, those looking for a mature romantic drama will likely be satisfied with One Day.

The DVD includes commentary with Scherfig, several deleted scenes and a couple of featurettes.


One Day DVD Review by Erin V.  

*** (out of 4)

Based on the book by David Nicholls, One Day follows the relationship of two people, Em (Anne Hathaway) and Dex (Jim Sturgess), only showing us their lives on every July 15th.  This storytelling device is interesting, as we essentially have to fill in the blanks for the other 364 days, yet we are never confused.  As we see how their relationship and lives have evolved year after year, it feels surprisingly linear despite often only hearing in passing conversation about things that have happened.

The adaptation of the book to the screenplay seems to have worked fairly well here, and the actors are all good in their roles.  They are also believably aged in terms of makeup – essential as the film goes from July 15th 1988 to July 15th 2011.  We know which day it is in the film also by the graphics placed into the frames that state the year – the weird and interesting thing is that they are not just subtitles, but actually in the film, appearing and then disappear on window frames, doors, computer screens, etc.

Overall, this film makes for a fine watch on DVD.  It is an interesting and pleasantly told drama about two individuals and how they affect each others lives.  Because of the time span, we really get the sense of how people change over the years, both in personality and career success.  I’d recommend checking it out.


One Day DVD Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

Live every day to the fullest, and follow your heart.  This is the message of One Day, a bittersweet romance between two friends.  On July 15th, 1988, two people, Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) meet at their college graduation.  They form a very close bond, and are quite suited to each other.  Unfortunately though, Dexter’s playboy behaviour and alcoholism makes any reasonable relationship impossible.  However, love conquers all, and Emma and Dexter’s paths inexplicably cross every July 15th for over 20 years.

One Day is a quiet and low key romantic film.  The acting and characters are believable, with never a hint of melodrama.  The camera work is beautiful, with every shot perfectly composed.  Rachel Portman’s low key score fits the mood of the film as well.  One Day is a sad yet beautiful movie that is worth seeing.


One Day DVD Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

One Day is a touching and low-key romantic-drama about two longtime friends who gradually over time realize the love they were looking for was there all along.

Anne Hathaway plays Emma Morley who is a young college graduate when she first meets charming and fun-loving fellow graduate, Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess).  The two develop an easy-going buddy relationship with no more expectation other than to keep in touch if possible, with July 15th as their annual “keep in touch” date.  Over the years both Emma and Dexter move in and out of relationships with other people yet the bond and love between them is obvious to others.  Eventually they both realize that a once a year, one day connection is not enough and one day becomes every day.

Based on David Nicholls’ best-selling novel, One Day is beautifully brought to life by director Lone Scherfig (An Education).  The film keeps an even pace throughout and the passage of time nicely handled in terms of subtle and realistic aging of the characters.  Both Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess give believable and touching performances.  The low-key, romantic tone is enhanced by the lovely score by Rachel Portman.  For those who like a good romantic story with a chance to laugh and cry along with the characters, One Day is a nice choice.


One Day DVD Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

One Day visits two people, Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) every July 15th from their 1988 college graduation onwards. Right from the first meeting despite huge differences between them, a bond of friendship is sealed, through various relationships, career changes and other events, successes and failures, sometimes together but mostly apart. We really get to know them through these brief encounters that are always interesting, from sharp banter through passion, anger and grief.

Directer Lone Scherfig brings the screenplay and novel by David Nicholls to life with great sensitivity and charm. Both principals are brilliant, remaining attractive through the years as they age through subtle changes in makeup, hair and clothing. The supporting cast is also excellent, including Patricia Clarkson and Ken Stott as Dex’s parents, Rafe Spall as a terrible standup comic that Emma lives with, and Romola Garai as Dexter’s witless first wife. Various locations in England and France provide a fine backdrop, with careful attention to changes in style and technology from the 1980s onwards. The narrative structure is interesting. Where many films begin near the end and occur mostly in flashback, One Day runs in chronological order to the end and then goes back to revisit the first day, filling in details that make our experience all the more satisfying. Given its large sweep over some two decades in the lives of two lovers, One Day is sure to please adult audiences of all ages.


Consensus: With a narrative that spans over twenty years and an appealing chemistry between lead actors Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, Lone Scherfig’s adaptation of One Day will be enjoyed by those looking for a mature romantic drama.  *** (Out of 4)

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