“Cinema is the history of boys photographing girls.” Or so
Jean-Luc Godard is claimed to have said. I thought of his words while watching “One
Fine Day,” an uninspired formula movie with another fine performance by
Michelle Pfeiffer. She does everything in this movie that a much better movie
would have required from her, but the screenplay lets her down.
Pfeiffer is one of the producers, she can blame herself; she *wanted* to make
this predictable fluff about two beautiful people who engage in a verbal
sparring match for 90 minutes while we patiently wait for them to acknowledge
that they have fallen hopelessly in love. She completes a three-dimensional,
appealing character and puts her in a lockstep plot.
movie stars Pfeiffer as Melanie, a divorced mom who has some kind of a job
involving big architectural projects. George Clooney plays Jack, a divorced
columnist for the New York Daily News. Through a series of coincidences, both
single parents are suddenly required to take care of their kids for the day,
and then circumstances throw them together, again and again.
OK, what's going to happen? Consider this to be like the crossword puzzle. Get
out your pencils.
kids, Maggie and Sammy, (like/dislike) each other. When their parents are distracted
for a moment, they (run out of sight/stay where they're told to stay). When the
parents try to find them, they (do, with great relief/lose them, and the movie
turns into “Ransom”). When both parents use identical cellular phones, they
(accidentally exchange phones and get each other's calls/keep their own phones
and get all of their own calls). When Maggie grows attached to some kittens,
her father (lets her keep them/tells her to forget them). After the Pfeiffer
character criticizes the Clooney character for being late and irresponsible,
she herself is (late and irresponsible/always on time). Toward the end of the
film, when it appears certain they are in love, a silly misunderstanding
(delays this realization/ends in a kiss).
so on. This is the kind of movie you can sing along with. I amused myself by
trying to figure out Michelle Pfeiffer's job. She works for a big company, I
guess, but her only colleague seems to be her elderly and powerful boss. When
she trips and falls and breaks the model of a big architectural project, it's
her job to take it downtown and hire a guy to glue it back together again, and
yet she also seems to be the designer, or planner, or salesperson, or broker,
or something, of this whole undertaking.
don't know for sure because it's all flimflam. Her job scenes should be
subtitled “Obligatory Scenes Necessary So Little Maggie Can Be Taken to the
Office.” Jack's newspaper job is easier to understand, especially after he
explains it takes him “about an hour” to write a column, and the mayor is
planning to sue him after yesterday's column. Everybody knows columnists like
the two kids like each other, and the two parents like each other, and there
are scenes at the docks, scenes in the park, scenes in toy stores, scenes in
the streets, scenes in the rain, scenes in taxis, scenes where Ocean Spray
cranberry juice gets squirted on Pfeiffer's blouse and similar scenes in which
other garments are stained on a regular basis.
looks, acts and sounds wonderful throughout all of this, and George Clooney is
perfectly serviceable as a romantic lead, sort of a Mel Gibson lite. I liked
them. I wanted them to get together. I wanted them to live happily ever after.
The sooner the better.