It should have been a match made in heaven. Teaming up the stars of two of the more avant-garde and risque romantic movies for the past few years – Love and Other Drugs and Across the Universe – with a Danish director who had already made an acclaimed, period-set literary adaptation. Unfortunately the end result is a half-baked, virtually humourless, romantic muddle that doesn’t do the much-loved book justice.
A cross between When Harry Met Sally (can they ever really just be friends?) and 500 Days of Summer (a distillation of a relationship’s falls and rises), One Day lacks the former’s wit and the latter’s invention. Part of the problem is that there’s little chemistry between the leads and the story’s brief running time and episodic nature doesn’t help that. Sturgess can’t transcend the fact that Dexter is basically an upper-class prat, while Hathaway just struggles with the accent and a terribly underwritten character.
Scherfig tries to enliven proceedings with clever Teachers-esque titles and a soundtrack that includes everyone from Tracey Chapman to Tears for Fears and Del Amitri to Fat Boy Slim, but you can’t help feeling this dreary tale could have done with a bit of fancy editing or narrative reconstruction.