I have to admit I’m a bit late on this one, but I’ve just seen David Nicholls’ film adaptation of his book One Day.
When I saw the trailer a month or so ago, it didn’t immediately go to the top of my must see list. When I heard about the way the story was told – covering the lives of its characters on the same day each year – I became more intrigued. Unsure whether or not to read the book or see the film version first, time drifted by and I still hadn’t done either.
But, last night, having already seen all my must see movies I decided now was the time for One Day. And I loved it.
The story had numerous themes including friendship, love and growing up. Essentially the film explored relationship simpatico, which it achieved honestly and truthfully, with the emotional development of the main characters out of sync with each other and often at odds.
Initially I had expected the film to exude chic flic glamour and simplicity, but this was far from true. The relationship between the two leads, Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess), was complex and refreshing. All of the story’s characters were flawed in some way and had elements of vulnerability. Dexter, in particular, was not easy to like, which added a level of realism to the world created by the story’s writer David Nicholls.
The film skilfully portrayed the confusion of youthful independence, finding a place in the world and a means of identifying one’s own purpose within it. Dexter’s recognition that ‘everyone feels lost in their twenties’, was something that particularly resonated with me, having just changed paths myself, leaving my full time job to pursue a career in writing.
The reconstruction of the 1990s was superb, not least through the music, fashion and set design which believably illustrated the passage of time. For the audience, watching the film became as much about recollecting one’s own journey as that of the story’s characters.
The standout performance for me was from Rafe Spall who played wannabe stand-up comic Ian. His portrayal of unrequited love was both touching and humorous. Also putting in a wonderful performance was Ken Scott playing the role of Steven, Dexter’s concerned father.
Coming out of the cinema I was left with an urge to buy the book, which I aim to do very soon. If you haven’t already seen One Day, you should, even if you have to wait for the DVD.
VERDICT: ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪