I adored the novel. I laughed out loud several times and cried like a little girl who got her pink My Little Pony stolen.
It worked wonderfully on paper. The juxtaposition of character development each year was shocking and brilliant when presented in neighbouring chapters. However, on screen it made for a choppy film.
When turning the pages, it was an epic romance about two people growing up together denying their love for each other. In the theatre, it ended up being a slightly boring love story about two twenty-five year-olds who look twenty-five for twenty years.
The problem, I believe, is scriptwriter David Nicholls who just so happens to be the author of the novel. The movie was a close adaptation. Very close.
He seemed scared to alter his precious story, resulting in a lengthy, jumpy mess.
He didn’t have the outsider’s look at the story. This was his creation, his baby, and he probably wanted to keep the story as similar as possible to the book.
Playing the two leads are Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. The pair were decent as Emma and Dexter when they were not on screen at the same time. Together, I couldn’t buy the romance. It seemed so wrong that these two should date, though while reading I couldn’t wait for them to end up together.
Upon learning Lone Scherfig would take the helm, I relaxed, thinking the movie would be a masterpiece. She did such a breathtaking job with An Education – one of my favourites – but I felt none of her brilliance in One Day.
However, the flow from late 80s clothing to 2011 was seamless. To see the change in pop culture and fashion in each snapshot was a visual aspect I didn’t experience while reading, so props must be given to costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux.
One Day is a wonderful example of an author who writes a successful book and then hi-jacks the movie production. A fresh set of eyes may have saved the project – if only Nicholls hadn’t commandeered it.