‘ONE DAY’: A Bittersweet Romance that Spans 20 Years


The draw to see this is twofold. The first is Anne Hathaway (the Princess Diaries star), and second, because I am always up for a good romance. I knew how this one would end before seeing it, and although I’m far from happy with it, still I watched One Day.

One Day (2011) Film Review

She’s intelligent with the book smarts to graduate from university with top honors. However when it comes to social things, Emma (Hathaway) is totally clueless. She feels awkward and isn’t at all that interested in a relationship, so instead she pursues education.

‘ONE DAY’:  A Bittersweet Romance that Spans 20 Years. A review of the 2011 adaptation with Anne Hathaway. Text © Rissi JC

He’s a partier and flirt who somehow still manages to graduate, and yet on graduation day Dex (Jim Sturgess) finds he’s intrigued by Emma. After a few too many drinks, the pair of them nearly have a one-night fling until both have a change of heart. Instead they’ll just be friend. Life passes, and before either of them realize it, even after mistakes, career aspirations, changes and relationships with other people, the two realize that together, they just might be the right fit.

‘ONE DAY’: A Bittersweet Romance that Spans 20 Years. A review of the 2011 adaptation with Anne Hathaway. #Movies #Adaptation #AnneHathaway #Romance Click To Tweet
FILM REVIEW | ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ is the Best of Smart and Sophisticated

Taking place over twenty-some years, One Day is a special movie without being “great.” Though I don’t think it is, it’s very much like an Indie type film. Through the years, it visits Dex and Emma always on the same day, July fifteenth, where they are sometimes together, sometimes not. As a love story, this is an interesting movie, but as anything else, this script has flaws. Its director, Lone Scherfig (An Education), doesn’t seem to stray far from the vignette format.

There’s quite a bit of criticism for One Day, and one of the reasons is Anne Hathaway not being able to turn out a convincing British dialect. This is the second role that Anne adopts a British accent and in my humble opinion, I think she does a decent job with it. She and Jim share good chemistry and since I did like them together, I wouldn’t mind a future pairing. Also part of the cast is Patricia Clarkson and Romola Garai.  

During the story, there is a concept that it goes against the usual movie grain, if you will. Dexter and Emma swap roles in a sense as his life drastically changes (for the better) and she lives the more sophisticated, single free-spirit lifestyle. The script seems to move at an alarming rate (understandable) but it does take time to feature smaller moments. Despite this, the film still leaves a viewer unsettled; almost as if we’re somehow cheated out of a happy ending. Although it’s unusual, I was able to “accept” this, in part because the end also promotes healing, something not every film does.

Although my mother didn’t care for this one at all, One Day is a pretty thought but the execution is far too blunt a conclusion to be really satisfying. 

Content: implications suggest Dex sleeps with a number of women. He and Emma eventually do sleep together [only implied]; we see them cuddling a time or two. A wife cheats on her husband. One scene shows Dex and Em skinny-dipping [as well as two other shots of barely avoided graphic nudity]. There are some crude comments; profanity consists of some British slang, sh*t, a**, da*n and one F-word. Some misuses of God’s name are also thrown into the mix as is quite a bit of alcohol consumption and the implication of drug abuse. One person dies after a tragic accident. The film is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Me, too. I've liked Anne since seeing her in Princess Diaries as a young girl. I also thought her more recent R-rated movie was really good – edited, of course. =)

    I am not sorry I saw this one (it is good in its own way) but as you might guess, the lack of a happy-ever-after makes me sad – plus Dex is a real jerk for the majority of the film.

  2. Did you read the book Rissi? I had read it around the time that I found out that it was going to be adapted into a movie so I'm curious to check it out at some point to see how it fares (I should also add that I did enjoy the book =P).

    I'm glad to hear that the movie was all right. I like Anne Hathaway as an actress–she's done some wonderful performances–but I did wonder why they casted her as Emma. But I'll wait to watch the movie and see for myself =)

  3. Actually, no, I've not read the novel, Lianne. I have read that moviegoers didn't like the film as well as the book – and vice versa. I'd enjoy knowing what you thought of this one when you see it – and am really glad to know the book is an enjoyable read. Thanks!

    For a girl who likes happy endings, I was somewhat surprised at how well I enjoyed this one. Perhaps it was because of Anne (like her as an actress) or maybe it was the fact that Dex became a better man in the end, but whatever I did "like" it. Surprisingly, Anne puts up a convincing British accent – but then that is just my opinion. =)

    Glad you dropped by, Lianne! Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

Optimized by Optimole