starring Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson, Ken Stott, Romola Garai, Rafe Spall and Jodie Wittaker
screenplay by David Nicholls, based on his novel
directed by Lone Scherfig
I liked it, but some of you mightn’t. I read the book a couple of years ago, and subsequently read Nicholls’ next novel, Starter for Ten, as well. I liked the latter much more than the former. In fact, the ending of the former was so awful that I almost threw the book at the wall in anger and I E-mailed the author to complain about it and ask a question. He was kind enough to E-mail me back.
Nicholls wrote the screenplay for his own novel, so the movie follows the book pretty well. But the story and the characters do not have nearly as much depth to them as the book has, which is not surprising. The movie should have been better than it was.
What is it with Britons and drunkenness?
It’s a very affective story. Dexter (Sturgess) and Emma (Hathaway) are classmates from the University of Edinburgh. They were never a couple at school, but on their graduation night they make their first connection after rubbing shoulders for four years. But Dexter and Emma are from opposite sides of the track, so their universes do not really coincide. They are mis-matched lovers and decide between themselves, Oh, well, let’s just be friends. But every year on St. Swithin’s Day (July 15th) they reconnect either face-to-face or by phone to reaffirm themselves. The audience is left frustrated that they can’t get together, because it’s obvious to everyone but them that Fate has paired them.
The story stretches out for more than twenty years as it reflects their slowly evolving love affair seen through the window of a single day each year. One Day. Finally after twenty years and a lot of frustrated career and personal development they do get together. Emma’s love rehabilitates Dexter from the alcoholism that destroyed everything in his life: his once promising television career; his first marriage; his daughter by that marriage; his relationship with his parents. The movie Dexter does not nearly match the alcoholic debauchery of the book Dexter, and this is what I asked the author about in my E-mail. What is it with Britons and drunkenness? I’m a teetotaler, but I’m not a judgmental prude. I don’t get it. (Maybe I ama judgmental prude!) I don’t get the British comical fascination with nudity, either. They still like to streak at public events, for God’s sake, forty years after it went out of style. Come on!
The end of the tale is completely unsatisfactory. You’ll see. Maybe it’s only unsatisfactory to me because I am a North American conditioned by Hollywood endings.
Anne Hathaway pulls of a great British accent, I think. But not being British myself I’m really not one to say.
I’m not happy with the way that Sturgess and Hathaway were made to appear to age during the course of the story. It looked like they just slapped different wigs on them, that’s all.