When I read One Day by David Nicholls I was sceptical it could be made into a film worth seeing. I was right to be sceptical; this film in no way captured the beauty of the book.
I think the problem is two fold. Firstly, it really comes down to time. Nicholls spends 435 pages, perhaps 10 hours depending on your reading speed, telling you all the ins and outs of Em and Dex’s magical friendship and the film has to condense this into 108 minutes. Purely mathematically, that’s pretty impossible. The result is a film that moves far too quickly, misses far too much out and doesn’t have time to really explore their relationship. The whole point of the book is how a relationship changes over time – 20 years to be exact – so without the aid of time I don’t see how this can even hope to be achieved.
The second issue is casting. Anne Hathaway is a wonderful actress but she’s not who I imagined as Em. I wanted someone a little less self-pitying. Emma Morley is supposed to be tough even in times of sadness and Anne Hathaway just can’t pull this off with her little doe-eyed, lost puppy face. Sorry but it’s true. However, the even bigger problem here is Jim Sturgess. He’s not attractive or suave or endearing. He’s none of the things Dexter Mayhew is supposed to be. And I know the film keeps leaping years ahead and he’s supposed to age but he looks like a completely different person in every scene.
On top of all this they seem to have gotten all the minor parts wrong too. Why does Ian look like a crazy person? Why were Sylvie and Callum given absolutely no personalities? I saw the film yesterday and I can’t even remember what either of them looked like. They’re pretty key characters and the film didn’t do them justice. I think the only character I really liked was Alison played by Patricia Clarkson – shame she died so early on really.
I should have listened to my gut and not watched this film. It brought to life about a quarter of a really good story, badly. Over and out –