Sunday, August 21, 2011
In Film. ONE DAY, the book, comes to the big screen
I've been awaiting the arrival of Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew to the big screen for a year, and I'm glad they finally arrived. ONE DAY, a book by David Nicholls, is a book that I loved. It was an emotional powerhouse of a novel, and the movie, written by Nicholls as well, delivers. Is it as good as the book? No. Most adaptations pale in comparison to the literary source, but it does a pretty damn good job.
I went into the film with low expectations, as I didn't want to be disappointed, and I wasn't. I really enjoyed the film. Anne Hathaway does a good job as Emma. Her accent, as some critics have criticized, was fine. I was more interested in her character. If she could encapsulate Emma's inner turmoil, her sweetness, her smarts, her love for Dexter, and she does. But it's Jim Sturgess who really shines in his role as Dexter. The cocky kid with addictions and narcissism, but who is so much more than what we see. His journey towards a stable adult was handled well. I really felt for him, and even though I knew what the ending was, I couldn't help rooting for him.
I think this adaptation is for those of us who read the book. If you're coming into this movie, without the background knowledge, it might not resonate as well with you. The beginning is a bit rough and jumpy, and it had me concerned that it would be too episodic. By having read the book, I knew exactly how the characters felt and where they were coming from, which makes for a more well rounded cinematic experience.
If you don't know, the basic plot is a relationship is shown between two people on the same day, July 15, for 20 years. We watch these characters be almost lovers, to friends, to not friends, to perhaps lovers, and so on. The book and film both capture the reality of such a relationship. It isn't glamorized. It is so real to read and watch that one can't help but be pulled into it emotionally. And that's what happened to me. I cried, once again, at the story of Dexter and Emma. I had to hold back a lot of the tears, as I was teetering on the brink of going into the ugly cry. When I read the book, I sobbed, and it was a full body experience. Since I was watching the film in a public place, I forced myself NOT to sob too much.
If you can get your hands on the book, and give it a read then I suggest reading it first then heading off to the movie on the weekend to experience it again!
Overall, I give it an 8 out of 10 as it was an emotionally satisfying time at the cinema.
Bonus feature: My initial book review from almost a year ago.