The Help was tops at the box office and maybe, just maybe, people are getting tired of the remakes and the 3D. Are you?
I saw the movie that I knew wouldn’t topple The Help or any of the other new releases, for that matter. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy One Day quite a bit, or that I didn’t absolutely, positively forget where I was for two hours (107 minutes, to be precise). It means simply that the movie has a somewhat limited audience (women), a single star (Anne Hathaway) and zero guns, superheroes, monsters, or hotbutton socio-economic issues to showcase.
What One Day does have, however, are two very appealing leads and easily some of the most gorgeous settings you can have for a movie (Edinburgh, Paris, or London anyone?) The story goes like this: Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess hook up on the very night they graduate from university and spend a fateful day together on July the 15th. The movie then checks back every July 15th for the next twenty years or so, and we watch how their lives evolve – separately and together.
And even though you sort of know where the story is going, it turns out a) you don’t, necessarily, and b) you’re never exactly bored with the chain of events. The director keeps everyone on their toes – so you stay there right with them. That’s a plus.
One Day’s biggest negative is not anyone’s fault necessarily, other than Hollywood’s. Because once again we are asked to look at someone like Anne Hathaway (and the equally charismatic Sturgess) and think, hmmm….maybe that person will become attractive to me…it’s not the case now, but perhaps if they do something delightful and/or kooky…
It’s the same deal as No Strings Attached, Friends With Benefits, etc …the implausibility is staggering but if you can get over that, you’re fine and you can go ahead and feel “ambivalent” about the star/starlet onscreen and wait until (or if) various lightbulbs go off.
I had wondered about Anne Hathaway’s accent, and apparently that was a legitimate concern. She does pull it off, but unlike Gwyneth or Renee, she’s inconsistent. One minute she’s an articulate Kate Middleton-type, all inquiry and intellect, and the next minute she’s a fishmonger on the London docks telling you to leave her halibut alone, luv!
Jim Sturgess (if you’re curious where you’ve seen him it was that weird Beatles-esque movie Across The Universe) is excellent in the bon vivant/effortless cad role on permanent lease to UK actors from Hugh Grant. This guy will have plenty more movies in which to star, and he is not as precious as some of his Hot Young English Compatriots. Although he does have terrific hair. In fact, he ages ultra-believably in this film. (Hathaway’s task seems more about discarding unfashionable eyewear and shoes). Patricia Clarkson is her arch, pale, delicious self and as usual, you’ll want more of her.
One Day is a good little effort with many deft and interesting turns. It’s not going to win any big awards, but it’s by no means silly either. This is a solid B movie for my money, and I’m totally glad I saw it. Later on this week we’ll be talking about just how tough it is to turn a bestseller into a movie without irritating people, and I think they’ve done a really nice job here.
1) Bridget Jones’ Diary
2) Four Weddings and a Funeral
3) Notting Hill
4) Shakespeare in Love