One Day

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess. Drama.

FILM SYNOPSIS: After one day together - July 15, 1988, their college graduation - Emma Morley (Academy Award nominee Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess of Across the Universe) begin a friendship that will last a lifetime. She is a working-class girl of principle and ambition who dreams of making the world a better place. He is a wealthy charmer who dreams that the world will be his playground.

For the next two decades, key moments of their relationship are experienced over several July 15ths in their lives. Together and apart, we see Dex and Em through their friendship and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. Somewhere along their journey, these two people realize that what they are searching and hoping for has been there for them all along. As the true meaning of that one day back in 1988 is revealed, they come to terms with the nature of love and life itself.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Reminding me of St. Elmoís Fire with fewer characters, One Day is at times humorous, sometimes bleak in its examination of a coupleís involvement after college. We travel down these two peopleís paths, but quite honestly, itís not all that interesting a journey. Heís a self-absorbed hedonist, she is a put-upon waitress who manages to be attracted to self-absorbed hedonists. They have no qualms about casual sex or, in his case, about only seeking what pleases him. Thereís not much of an interesting sub-character to these people.

The vintage Two for the Road also came to mind, wherein Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney took us on a travelogue through a coupleís failing 12-year marriage. Both movies are beautifully photographed in Europe and have strong performances, but in keeping with todayís movie explicitness, One Day is grungy. Two for the Road is elegant. In One Day, the sexual talk is bawdy to excess and we are often subjected to crude visuals such a woman vomiting and a man sitting on the toilet. Rather than becoming senselessly graphic, films can teach life lessons while remaining illusionary. In other words, I donít need to see people vomiting or sitting on the pot in order to sense reality.

In its favor, the filmís underscoring theme consists of inevitable life mistakes and how they are often unavoidable. It reminds us that everybody makes guilt-producing mistakes, shortsighted blunders that hunt us through life. Oh, if only we could push a button and go back to the moments when our words or deeds failed to represent who we really wanted to be. Donít know about you, but no amount of prayer on my part has persuaded the Creator to materialize such a button.

As with most films that delve into mankindís motivations, One Day avoids bringing the spiritual into the equation. I would think that ultimately the avoidance of the spiritual aspect of lifeís makeup would be frustrating for those who question their reason for existence. Yes, we pay a price in life for our mistakes, no matter our spiritual leaning, but what the secular viewpoint fails to seek is the forgiveness of our God. We can come to peace with our past wrongs because God, and sometimes only God, can make all things work together for good. This the nonbeliever does not comprehend. Nor does this movie.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Focus Features

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several crude sexual innuendos and references.

Obscene Language: Surprisingly, only one or two obscenities.

Profanity: None

Violence: A man is beaten up in a club, his little daughter sees him bleeding and nearly unconscious; a jolting accident, wherein a main character is killed. Some blood during the aftermath of a fight scene.

Sex: A few sexual situations, but the camera generally is discreet and the filmmaker cuts away before these scenes become excessive; the characters have no moral problem with causal sex.

Nudity: A couple of scenes feature both female and male nudity.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: A great deal of drinking; the male lead is alcoholic and uses drugs.

Other: Death of a parent, we see her slowly dying of cancer.

Running Time: 103 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers.

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.