Directed by Lone Scherfig
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One Day is “an almost perfect example of how not to turn a book into a movie,” said Ty Burr in The Boston Globe. Adapted by British author David Nicholls from his popular recent novel, it follows two friends across roughly two decades by checking in on them on the same date each year, beginning with their meeting and near hookup on the night of their 1988 university graduation. Unfortunately, Jim Sturgess’s Dex is “a self-absorbed jerk” while Anne Hathaway’s Emma is a scold, and the story’s snapshot format gives us no reason to care if they ever become a couple. But One Day wasn’t designed to be a “light romantic movie,” said Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s “about two people discovering meaning in their lives” in a gradual, realistic way, and its unique structure eventually produces a moment when an already “very satisfying movie” is “transformed to the level of poetry.” Surely that can’t refer to the story’s unearned final tragedy, said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. That sound you hear isn’t poetry. It’s the “synergy of fingernails and blackboard.”
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