Film: One Day

It’s the film I’ve been dreading ever since they announced it was in the making. I’m not against book to film adaptations at all; there have been some fantastic ones (‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘Girl, Interrupted’ to name a few), but there have also been some horrific ones. My main problem with these interpretations is that they are now coming thick and fast, substituting original ideas for screenplays and (often) irking the fans of the original. That, and Hollywood always seem to pick my favourite books, which means I either have very good taste in literature, or very bad luck. Or both.

I felt an obligation to go and see the film, mainly so I had a justified reason to slate it, and felt quite a lot of trepidation considering the last adap I saw of a favourite book, The Time Traveler’s Wife, was so hideously bad I had to re-read the book just to remind myself that it was still good. If you’ve heard anything about the film version of One Day, you will definitely have heard one thing: it stars Anne Hathaway as Emma. In the book, Emma is strong and fiery; in the film she comes across as a bit….wet. Whereas in the book I felt the story was focused on Emma as she was the character easiest to relate to (let’s be honest, there aren’t many of us who would be more like an alcoholic sex fiend than a bookworm in a dead end job, no matter how hard you may try), the film had its emphasis on Dexter, played to a T by Jim Sturgess. He managed to keep the essence of the original character by making the audience cringe and fall in love with him at the same time, allowing us to take pity on him and mourn with him in all the right places.

It didn’t flow as easily as the book, some of the ‘chapters’ were skipped through in a matter of seconds to get to the juicy stuff, but then adaptations always have to be cut down. Anne Hathaway’s Yorkshire accent may have got her a role in a big movie, but it certainly wouldn’t have got her a role in Emmerdale, but that was to be expected. It didn’t particularly bother me though – her hometown origins aren’t what makes the character. Regardless of its flaws, the story was still there, the relationship was still built up and shot down, and I still cried (but my cinema companion Ms C, and most of the people in the audience, did too, so it’s fine!). If you liked the book, it shouldn’t hurt too much.

Now just to wait for ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’…