Sunday, June 10, 2012

110. ONE DAY (2011)

Formulaic but not uninteresting idea, scripted by David Nicholls from his own novel, that suggests SAME TIME NEXT YEAR redone for a new generation. Rather than focusing on a series of reunions in a married-but-not-to-each-other couple's relationship over many years, Danish director Lone Scherfig's ONE DAY covers a somewhat shorter period of time in a relationship between two British friends (Anne Hathway, Jim Sturgess) following a casual one-night stand, using the day of their meeting as the recurring anniversary. What is most intriguing about the story and film is that this relationship doesn't work; it's important to the lives of both people, it might have mattered significantly and perhaps does anyway, but it never quite superceded their own selfishness in the great scheme of things. Consequently, they never quite become a couple, aren't always together on said day, and there's no particular constancy or harmony in the relationship. Furthermore, Sturgess' character starts out at his most together (a collegiate charmer) and then disintegrates over the course of the film as he drifts away from Hathaway to pursue other women, drugs and a short-lived success as an MTV-type host and whatever such people become when their hip factor expires. His arrogance and selfishness make him unsympathetic, really, and his portion of the film often feels insufferable as we're steered to a final port of wasted lives and, worse still, wasted time. In the end, the whole hardly seems worth romanticizing, if all this aggravation counts as a romance.

Viewed via Universal Blu-ray.

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