Movie Mom

Movie Mom


One Day

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual content, partial nudity, language, some violence, and substance abuse
Profanity:Strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and non-explicit situations, partial male and female nudity, a lot of casual sex
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking and alcohol and drug abuse,
Violence/Scariness:Sad deaths, accidental injury, fatal traffic accident
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:August 19, 2011
DVD Release Date:November 29, 2011

A gimmick that sort of worked in a novel becomes an obstacle that trips up this love story based on best-seller by David Nicholls.  It is better at telling us to care about the two characters than it is at making us feel anything for the couple who stumble their way toward each other for almost 20 years.

The gimmick is that we check in on Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dex (Jim Sturgess) every year on the same day, July 15, known in England as St. Swithin’s Day, less a holiday than a Groundhog Day-style harbinger of the weather.  So instead of following them on days when especially significant or illuminating events happen, we see whatever happens to be going on each July 15.   Sometimes it is an important moment but most often it is more indicative than revealing.  In the book we had their internal perspective on what was going on.  Dex’s dead-on assessment of Emma’s room in the first chapter was as revealing about himself  as it was about her.  It was so astute that it made up for his cluelessness about himself and frequent boorishness for many years to come.   On screen, even Hathaway’s radiance and Sturgess’ charm cannot persuade us that these two people would have stayed in touch, much less been dear friends, over decades.

The gifted director Lone Sherfig (“An Education“) resists the temptation to throw in a lot of signifiers of time passing, but inevitably we get distracted by the shifting hairstyles and conversion from typewriters to laptops and phone booths to cell phones.  Covering 20 days over two decades means that there is very little time for each update, and without the interior monologues that gave the novel’s characters more substance, it feels more like a perfume commercial than a story.  There is more wit in the interplay of the digits of the passing years with the action of the scene than in most of the interactions between Emma and Dex.  Nicholls, who adapted his book for the screen, is too attached to details that do not work in a movie.  It would have been much better to jettison as many as half of the days to give us a chance to catch our breath and see how the friendship actually works.  There is too much of Dex’s “VH1 Behind the Music”-style descent into alcohol, drugs, and one-night stands (even in the book, he seemed hardly worthy of the loyal and principled Emma) and too little of the characters around them who are supposed to have been an influence.  And there is much too little of actual events.  It is Emma’s experiences as a teacher that lead her to find her voice as a writer.  How do I know that?  From reading the book.  It all feels rushed and abrupt and unsupported, and the ending feels like a maudlin cheat.

 

 

Parents should know that this film has almost-R-worthy explicit sexual references and non-explicit situations, brief male and female nudity, drinking and alcohol and drug abuse, sad deaths, a fatal traffic accident, and strong language

Family discussion:  Why did Emma and Dex become friends when they had so little in common?  Why was Ian’s visit to Dex important?  Why did Dex’s mother say that he would someday become a better person?

 

If you like this, try: “An Education” (by the same director) and the wonderful “And Now My Love”



Previous Posts

Interview: Bo Svenson
Bo Svenson is an actor, writer, director, judo champion, and, as I was lucky enough to find out, an enthralling guy to talk to, turning an interview into a wide-ranging conversation. Svenson was

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Tribute: Don Pardo
Don Pardo's face was not familiar.  But his voice was instantly recognizable.  We mourn the loss of one of the great announcers in broadcast history, who died on Monday at age 96. The cast of "Saturday Night Live," where he served as announcer from the beginning, celebrated his 90th birthday.

posted 12:44:03pm Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Gayle Forman of "If I Stay"
Gayle Forman is the author of If I Stay, the source for this week's movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia, a talented young cellist in a coma following a car accident.  As she hovers between life and death, she remembers incidents from her life with her family and with her rock musician boyfrie

posted 8:00:16am Aug. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Popcorn Update....Maybe
Remember when I explained how movie theater lobbyists created a loophole in the rules requiring places that serve food to let you know the calories and fat content of your purchase

posted 3:49:14pm Aug. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Home is Where the Heart is
We are delighted to have an exclusive clip from the warm-hearted family film, Home Is Where the Heart Is -- and even more delighted to have two copies to give away. [bcvideo vid='3708089442001' pid='96582452001' height='410' width='480'] “Trophy Wife’s” Bailee Madison, Laura Bell Bundy (

posted 7:00:56am Aug. 18, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.