Amidst the blood bath movies of Conan and Fright Night and the children’s film of Spy Kids 4, One Day starring Anne Hathaway released this weekend. All summer I have seen trailers for this dramatic film and though the premise was interesting, despite it being another chick flick. I was even surprised to find out that Roger Ebert liked the movie and figured that I was in for a real treat that would make this film stand above the rest of the romance movies I’ve seen this summer. Was it? Read on to find out.
The premise for One Day is one cool evening in London graduates Emma (Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) decide to follow in their friends’ footsteps and spend the night with each other. After an awkward attempt to make love, the two decide to be friends instead. The movie then tracks their lives over the next twenty three years, as they continue to meet up on the day they first met July 15th, the one day. See trailer
That’s really all I can say about the plot unless you wanted me to go through the whole movie for you. Was a plot so small worth the hype? The answer, at least in my opinion, is no. At first I was intrigued by the movie as the two essentially talk about their weaknesses and introduce us to their personalities. The first couple of years really brought the dynamic duo to life and did a nice, concise job of giving us the backstory for this friendship. However, the movie soon takes a turn down the slow and boring path as we soon get hit over the head with a lot of monotonous details. On top of the repetitive information, depression also fills this movie as scene by scene, minute by minute, more crap hits the fan, most of which is alcoholism or relationship troubles. Even at the end of the movie the film seems to drag on, just like in Return of the King, and you wonder what the point of these scenes are when there is a much better stopping point ten minutes early. However, the twist near the end of the movie was certainly a surprise to me, which I guarantee will shock a majority of the audience.
Now don’t get me wrong I’m perfectly fine with seeing these realistic problems and watching the characters either succeed or fail. However these trials should either be faced in a shorter amount of time, or at least have some more general comedy to help relieve the sadness. This movie fails to do both things. One has to listen carefully to the dialog to find any humor, as there are no silly accidents, vulgar sex jokes, rude gestures, or childish comedy for one to enjoy. The lack of this comedy and the slow pace resulted in me being very bored with the whole movie, but that’s probably because I’m not mature enough to understand some of the lessons this movie has to offer. This movie is definitely more focused on the artistic side of cinema than the traditional comedy style.
This brings me to my next point is that this movie has some great lessons within. The first lesson is that friendship takes a lot of work to remain close, especially long distance friendships. The whole movie portrays how Emma and Dex must learn to change themselves to keep their friendship alive. Dex for instance must learn to overcome his man child stage and alcohol problem to redeem the slum that he falls into. Emma on the other hand must find confidence in herself, while learning to be less serious and more fun to help get a better grasp of life. Another lesson is that love isn’t the magical fairy tale that romantic comedies and Disney films make it out to be, and how sometimes the love you seek can come from the least obvious places. A third lesson that was hit hard in this movie is that alcohol and mindless sex once again are not the solution to getting you out of your problems.
What more is there really to say about this movie? Overall the romantic dramedy the trailers showed us was really more a long and sarcasm filled soap opera. Again those looking for comedy, intense romance, and a rich story will be disappointed by this artistic film. Those looking to watch a fun movie will also want to avoid this movie because of the massive amounts of depression. The final result for this movie is a 5.5 on my scale and is worth more of a movie rent than a theater trip.