A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
With some people, we are destined to become lifelong friends. It can’t be planned that way. Chance plays a role. There is an underlying harmony that persists despite the whims of fate. When childhood sweethearts marry after not seeing each other for 30 or 40 years, it makes perfect sense to me. The instinctive understanding is there.
"One Day" is a film based on the David Nicholls best-seller about a boy and girl who graduate from the University of Edinburgh on July 15, 1988, and spend the night together. The story follows them by dropping in on July 15th of their lives for year after year, which is a useful device, because it eliminates the need to show us the events of the other days of their years. Success, failure, marriages, divorce, can take place off-screen if necessary. What matters is their accumulating effects.
Dexter (Jim Sturgess) is a twit. In the 1970s, he might have been known as a Hooray Henry. Emma (Anne Hathaway) is an earnest, hard-working girl. Dexter is upper-class. Emma is middle-class. Dexter goes into television production. Emma gets a job as a waitress in a Tex-Mex restaurant in London I believe I have actually dined at. It wasn't bad. Dexter becomes famous quickly and fades inexorably because there is really nothing there. Emma becomes obscure quickly and only gradually becomes successful because she persists in believing in herself and her gift for writing.
Life has its way of bringing them together for periodic updates. Some of these meetings are intentional, some accidental. The thread is never broken, not even after Dexter marries, and Emma takes up with Ian (Rafe Spall, son of Timothy). Since Emma and Dexter are both beautiful people, there is no imbalance there. It is all in character. Emma has it.