When Dexter met Emma
Following their graduation from the University of Edinburgh on the 15th July 1988 Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) spend the night together but come the morning decide to just be friends. Over the next 23 years as they each live their own lives they find themselves meeting up on the 15th July each year, some times intentionally some times accidentally and despite rarely seeing each other their strength of friendship remains strong, being there for each other through the good times and bad as well as sickness and health.
Sometimes it pays not to seek out information on a movie before you watch it as you can be swayed by the opinions of others. That is the case when I watched "One Day" as I read countless gushing reviews about this original movie with so much realism yet I watched something incredibly different to what others seemed to watch. And to start with I will tackle the whole original idea thing about Emma and Dexter being friends who tend to meet up every year, a mechanism which in one form or another has been used in many other movies. Those movies may not restrict it to a certain date each year but they do cover the whole concept of two people who become life long friends and are always there for each other as the years pass by even if they don't live in each others pockets.
Then there is the realism thing and to put it simply Emma and Dexter are not real people or at least not real in my world. Part of that comes down to what is essentially miscasting as both Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess sound like they should have come out of a 50s movies rather than one more current. The way they interact as well just doesn't scream realism either and it makes "One Day" an incredibly false movie.
But here is the catch as whilst the characters don't come across as real and the one day mechanism is not original there is something which is interesting about "One Day". That is that the fact that Emma is a nice girl, a shy, hard working girl who is really fond of Dexter whilst he is a shallow cad, a good time guy who enjoys life too much to commit to the person who in truth he really cares about and avoids anything which makes him confront reality such as a family member's illness. As such what we get are two people who are so right for each other yet when they meet and through the early years are not in the right place in their lives to be anything more than friends whilst at the same time fearing that if they did take things further it would ruin their friendship. It is a good idea which sadly struggles under bad accents and unbelievable characters.
What this all boils down to is that "One Day" whilst a movie with some nice ideas and in truth some charm it doesn't work thanks to what to me feels like the wrong casting. In a way I am shooting myself in the foot here but what "One Day" proves to me is that you shouldn't read reviews before watching a movie especially those which gush about how great it is as it can raise false hopes and only lead to disappointment.