By Gary Murray


Starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess


Written by David Nicholls based on his novel


Directed by Lone Scherfig


Running time 103 min


MPAA Rating PG-13


Selig Film Rating Matinee


Anne Hathaway is one of the most promising actresses of the 21st century.  Not only does she possess girl-next-door charm, but he has also has some serious acting chops.  In her latest, One Day, she takes on both an English accent and a hard to pin down beau.


The story starts on July 15th 1988.  Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) meet and almost have sex.  After sleeping in the same bed but not sleeping together, the two decide to become friends. 


The film is over the next two decades and seems to keep hitting on that same date. 


Dex becomes a big, fancy chat show host and she works at a Mexican food restaurant in London.  As his star rises, hers keeps scraping the ground.  She settles for a co-worker who is also a struggling stand-up comic and who is not that funny. 


The film is of the downfall of Dex, going from a hated television icon to just hated.  Eventually, with a push from her not so funny boyfriend, Emma goes from a teacher to a novelist.  Through the ups and downs of the couple, there is always a strong bond between Dex and Emma. Other people may come into their lives but the two remain strong friends.  Or is there something else there?


One Day is directed by Lone Scherfig, the man who gave the world the Oscar nominated An Education.  The Englishness of both films is a driving force.  He photographs the country with a loving eye, never placing a bad shot in his lens.  There is also this cold warmth to every filmed scene almost as if every day had a perfect chill in the air.  He finds a degree of magic in framing each shot.


Anne Hathaway is one again brilliant in her role.  She finds the perfect blend of quirky charm and mock seriousness in her performance.  Her Emma is just the right kind of girl to fall in love with, wither any one else in the cast notices. 


Jim Sturgess as our loveable cad doesn’t come off as well.  His downward spiral is also his growth as a man, but one never believes that his Dex has truly ever learned any lesson of life.  She deserved better than him.


The film plays like a modern, British version of When Harry Met Sally, but without the laughs.  It is very downbeat and very sad with an ending telegraphed almost from the beginning.  While there are a few moments of mirth laced into the tapestry, the entire picture weaves a morose final picture.


One Day is a long shot push for Anne Hathaway to get the Oscar nod.  Her performance will be discussed all through September and dismissed by the leaves fall off the trees.  This is Oscar bait and not effective bait.  While is not a bad film, it is also not a very entertaining one.  The sum of the performances does not add up to the total of a great motion picture. 


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