Although David Nicholls’s big-screen adaptation of his own bestseller is far from perfect, the very sweet and engaging lead performances make it fairly enjoyable.
Director Loan Scherfig, whose previous film An Education made a star of Carey Mulligan, here takes on two rather more established young actors, Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturges, to play Emma and Dexter, a couple who we follow through their relationship, pausing on the same day every year.
It’s a charming concept, but it was better realised in Nicholl’s original novel, and the days and years get somewhat lost in a fluid and sometimes dithering narrative that fails to probe very deeply into either of the two main characters.
Thankfully, Hathaway and Sturgess make it worth the time. The Princess Diaries star has received some negative reviews due to her less-than-perfect Yorkshire accent, but I have to say that somehow it didn’t bother me. The affecting honesty of Hathaway’s performance still shines through, even though the film omits some of the character’s interesting quirks that were explored further in the book. Jim Sturgess is superb and proves he is a rising star to watch. He’s certainly come a long way since Robert Luketic’s dire gambling movie 21.
It may disappoint purists who cling lovingly to their dog-eared paperbacks of the novel, but this is still ultimately a generally good romantic drama that serves up some touching moments.
One Day (2011), directed by Loan Scherfig, is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Universal Pictures, certificate 12.