Denmark’s talented Lone Scherfig had long been an A-list director on the festival circuit thanks to films like Italian For Beginners; then she hit it big in 2009 with the wry An Education, which received a few Oscar nominations. Scherfig’s latest, One Day, is the adaptation of a bestselling novel by David Nicholls.
One is a highly structured tale of love fatefully postponed. The story focuses on a pair of British college graduates, Emma and Dexter (Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess), who spend the night together when they both graduate. She’s a smart working class gal with high wit and low self esteem; he’s a wealthy, immature but kindly charmer. Even though these two are possibly soul mates, they are superficially mismatched and don’t hook up. The narrative conceit is that we revisit that same date every year for two decades, catching up on the mostly separate but sometimes overlapping lives of Emma and Dexter, who love each other but mostly keep missing the main chance.
As chick flicks go, this one is literate, well crafted by Scherfig, and blessed with fine performances (even if Hathaway’s English accent wobbles). But the narrative approach soon feels gimmicky, and you can’t help feeling that a more conventional storyline would have had a richer emotional payload. M
One Day ★★★
Starring Anne Hathaway
PG 13 – 107 minutes
Continues at The Caprice
Bittersweet romance calls for a cocktail – how about the retro and charming Sidecar? Grab your shaker and pour in 1 1/2 oz. of brandy, 3/4 oz. of Cointreau, and 3/4 oz. of fresh lemon juice. Shake over cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. For extra points, sugar the rim and garnish with an orange peel.