Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson
Director: Lone Scherfig
Running Time: 107 mins
One Day is a British film about two friends and their lives on one date each year after they spent the night together in university, sometimes together, and sometimes apart.
I’m not entirely averse to a nice, melodramatic romance every once in a while, but I’ve got to say that One Day was just a bit too much. Along with a real lack of romantic passion and chemistry between its two leads, the film just doesn’t have the emotional resonance to back up its sentimental tone, making it a more annoying watch than anything else.
Of course, fans of hyper-sentimental romantic dramas like The Notebook and Me Before You will certainly find enjoyment in One Day. At its best, the film does at least impress with an elegant and bold style that, while not quite sticking the landing, is nice to watch.
Above all, it’s actually the film’s music which creates that elegant atmosphere best, with an impressive blend of romantic style and dramatic gravitas that brings far more emotion to the table than any other part of the film.
Apart from that, however, the movie really doesn’t manage to hit home on a deeper emotional level, proving a frustrating and excessively melodramatic watch throughout.
There’s a real lack of romantic chemistry between leads Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, both of whom seem very out of place in their individual roles. Hathaway struggles with what I think is meant to be a Yorkshire accent – something that proves very distracting through the whole movie – while she also doesn’t manage to conjure up the same loving passion that the film is really going for.
Meanwhile, Jim Sturgess is frankly insufferable all the way through the film. A hugely unlikable male love interest with no redeeming qualities, even his character’s arc to eventual redemption is frustrating, as I really didn’t want to see him turn out fine in the end given his behaviour all the way through. Sturgess’ performance itself too lacks a likability factor, with little real energy or passion on display that makes him a woefully underwhelming opposite to Anne Hathaway.
So, with such a mismatched romance, One Day is a really difficult film to get into, particularly when it’s hammering you with such a melodramatic atmosphere that just doesn’t have the legs to stand on.
It’s far from the poignant and moving tale of two souls living apart through time that it aims to be, and with the exception of its last few minutes (which is a little bit too late), there really isn’t much emotional resonance at any point through the film.
Failing to capture a sense of nostalgia for young love or passion for true love, One Day is a mediocre romantic drama throughout, and all the more annoying to watch given just how melodramatic it is. Though its style is elegant and its music beautiful, the film is a frustrating watch, which is why I’m giving it a 6.2 overall.