Jewish Journal

Two Jews on Film: ‘One Day’ review

by Joan Schwartz (video by Joan and John Schwartz)

August 17, 2011 | 12:40 pm

Twenty years. Two people…

‘One Day’ is directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education) and adapted for the screen by David Nicholls from his bestselling novel of the same name.

After spending one day together - July 15, 1988, their college graduation and St. Swithin’s Day. (It’s an English holiday that happens to fall every year on July 15th) - Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) begin a friendship that will last a lifetime.

Emma is a working class girl who wants to be a writer. The press notes say that…she wants to change the world. Unfortunately the film never shows Emma doing anything that suggests this. I did see her work as a waitress in a Taco Restaurant and then later on, she becomes a teacher/children’s author. But save the world…Nope…not even close.

Dexter on the other hand, is a rich, charming, womanizing dude who thinks that the world is his own personal playground. He likes coke, alcohol and sleeping around. This was very present in the film…over and over and over again. Dexter winds up hosting a super cheesy television show. And even though he acts like an ass, we know that deep down; he is one of the good guys.

Otherwise why would a sweet, innocent girl like Emma, love him? Beats me…

In the next two decades, key moments of their relationship are experienced over several July 15ths. Together and apart, we see Dexter and Emma through their friendship and fights, hopes, missed opportunities and their relationships with other people.

And that pin-points the film’s major problem for me…I just didn’t care about these two characters…Together or apart, I didn’t find Emma or Dexter all that interesting. And when you are expecting this great love story, that’s a big problem.

Story continues after the jump.

I knew Emma was changing by her different haircuts. Dexter as well had different ‘dos’ but for most of the film (except the last forty minutes) he stayed basically the same…a boring, selfish jerk.

On another note, I think they should have cast an English actress for the part of Emma. She is after all, a very well known English character created by a British novelist. Guess there weren’t any English actresses available.

This is another rare occasion where the ‘Two Jews On Film’ actually agree. Check out our video and see how many bagels we gave this film.

‘One Day’ opens in theaters Friday, August 19, 2011. Love to know what you think.

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