Friday, August 26, 2011

"One Day, The Film..."

We expected a cinema full of David Nicholls fans. But yesterday afternoon, on the day the film of his best-seller ONE DAY was released, you could count the folk in the cinema on the fingers of your (...OK, both hands....And yes, probably the toes on your feet too)...BUT outside, it was a bright sunny day and summer's perhaps a sunbed in the garden had been the option for some... I just hope some of the adverse comments by critics haven't put people off.

A few months back, I couldn't put the book down. It's an easy read. It's beautifully written. There are bits that haunt. There are bits you recognise, with which you empathise. And it also documents a slice of British society over 22 hectic years... and it does all this with perception.
The main characters, Emma and Dex, are vibrantly real. There are others who are also beautifully drawn. You could say the "plot" is simple, ordinary...but it holds your interest hugely.... and the " Will they? Won't they?" of the story lassoes you....along with the fact that Emma and Dex meet on St Swithins Day ( 1988) .....then decide to meet that their relationship flays/ falters/flirts and fights......AND I enjoyed all this, in Nicholls' readable very canny prose.

THE FILM is Absolutely Not The Book. BUT....Take It On Its Own. Don't think about the book. The film is gentle-easy-Friday-evening-watching. OK, Hmm: Hathaway's accent consists of a sudden flat "supposed-to-be Yorkshire" vowel lurching betwixt Heaven Knows What....BUT the film is merely a RomCom, it's light as sugar, it's sad and touching, it's good-looking with some lovely moments...BUT BEST OF ALL: it has great cameos. Rafe Spall is a brilliant Ian. Ken Stott as Dex's Dad shines. Patricia Clarkson is a star as Dex's mother; as parents of Dex, they couldn't be bettered.

BUT Hathaway doesn't hit the spot. She's a beautiful American actress..... as unlike working class socialist clever-plain Emma as it's probably possible to be. In the book, it was EMMA I watched and Emma I crossed my fingers for. BUT yesterday afternoon, I rooted for Dexter. Jim Sturgess's brown eyes beguiled..the flaws in his character melted and moved ... and his ageing process over the years was impeccable. Sturgess was accurate sensible casting.

SO YES: The book was sheer delight from start to finish: an analysis of so many things...The film, by contrast, is merely an afternoon's enjoyment....a pleasant view into a love affair.

They're separate beings, this book and this film. Each should be appreciated for what it is.
They shouldn't be compared with t'other. ( To be said in your best Yorkshire accent, of course?)

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Blogger Posie said...

Hi Jan, you left a lovely comment on my blog and I have finally got around to visiting blog land again. I have just started to read the book ONE DAY, and am having trouble putting it down, it is so light hearted and beautifully written capturing the 80s and 90s so well...looking forward to the film.

10:11 pm  
Blogger Gill - That British Woman said...

I always prefer the book to the movie.......I'll have to read the book,

Gill in Canada

3:25 am  
Blogger Jan said...

I read it swiftly get very involved very quickly!

Hope you enjoy it.
I imagine you were in the UK during the earlier part of that period??

9:11 pm  
Blogger Chris Stovell said...

Hi Jan, oh interesting! My daughter went to see the film this week and said Rafe Spall was amazing in it and saved the film for her. I'm sorry to say I really didn't enjoy the book at all and especially didn't warm to Dexter, but I realise I'm in the minority here!

10:11 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Totally agree re The Boy Spall.
Looking forward to seeing him in lots more stuff.
Thankyou for visiting my blog.

5:08 pm  
Blogger Sarah Laurence said...

Great review! My husband and I loved the book too, but I didn't like the casting of an American for Emma when I saw the trailer. Hathaway is a fabulous actress but very American. Her accent was all over the place. I'm tempted to see the movie, though, after your review. Have a nice blog break!

Sorry to be so late to visit. I got bogged down with work and start of school.

1:37 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Thanks for calling. I'll be back blogging with vigour next month!!

8:40 am  

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