Thursday, January 12, 2012

One Day by David Nicholls: My take on the Movie starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess


Where to start? First I LOVED this book by David Nicholls. I liked the literary conceit of setting the action on the same day with every progressive year. You could fill in the blanks on what had happened and what would likely happen next pretty reliably.I had a very distinct vision of Emma - vaguely dumpy, bookish, a tad plump, an intellectual more concerned with content than style. And then of course the ugly duckling becomes the swan.
 And Dex. Dashing. Adorably bad. Jim Sturgess is perfect.
But I was quizzical over the casting of Anne Hathaway. I really felt confused. She has such a strong image. At best, she is handsome. But I do not see her as soft and pretty, ever. Sorry! She's bony, angular.I think Emma needs to emerge from her unfocused blurred self and become beautiful in Dex's eyes as he gets to know her better. Somehow we need to see her insecurities wrapped up in her love for this bad boy. In the film we don't. They change her hair, take her glasses away. But we miss the slow evolution of a beautiful inner self coming to the fore.There's nothing tentative about her at all.
And there is zero chemistry. I found myself watching and simply not carrying about anyone except maybe Ian, played by Rafe Spall, the lousy comic who is love with Emma. I should have cared about Dex' mother, but Patricia Clarkson always seemed like she had a little secret on her mind which didn't fit with the film. Like she wouldn't mind having a go at Jim Sturgess herself.


On the other hand I did care about the big event. Which I have to admit shook me just as much as it did in the book. Even though I was waiting for it. Even though I knew it was coming, when it was coming, the sudden bluntness of it still caught me and I found myself crying. I don't know if that's Good on David Nicholl's the author, who also wrote the screenplay or Good on Lone Sherfig, the director, or both of them. That scene in any case worked.
I also wasn't happy with how they aged Dex after that; he looked silly with his floppy dark hair silvered.
All in all, I was very disappointed. It was a lovely, brilliant book but the film finally, was forgettable. And I do blame the casting. If you don't get that basic fundamental right, if the two leads in a love story have no chemistry, you can forget the rest of it.
I suggest you do just that. Forget the film. Read the book.
But here's the trailer anyway


2 comments:

  1. Hey! Thanks for coming over to my website and commenting. You have quite the cool blog here, and you sure blog a lot. I'm very impressed!

    I also enjoyed One Day, for the most part. Some people I know hated it, so I was actually pleasantly surprised. But now, I won't see the movie since you were disappointed.

    I'll keep checking back - I like your insights. :)

    Amanda
    www.amandagates.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for visiting Amanda! I started blogging to fill up a big empty space ... my son, our only child, went away to school this fall and I suddenly seemed to have a lot of free time. Now I'm hooked!

    ReplyDelete

I love that you're leaving a comment! Thanks.

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