Lunch & a Movie Series :: One Day


One Day (2011)
Written by David Nicholls
Directed by Lone Scherfig


About the MovieAfter spending the night together on the night of their college graduation Dexter and Em are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day, but whether together, or apart, speaking, or not speaking, present, or not present, they are intertwined in a way that changes them both, and helps shape who they are.

Brief SynopsisEmma Morley (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) meet for the first time on July 15, 1988 after their graduation from the University of Edinburgh . They spend the night together, but not in the way they initially plan, and ultimately agree to be friends. The film goes on to reconnect with Emma or Dexter or both on the 15th of July (one day) over the next 23 years.


There are monumental years, and seemingly insignificant years shown. Some years the film spends more time exploring, others seem to flash by in a blink of an eye. There are years that are heartbreaking, years that are beautiful, years full of hope, some with the awkwardness of trying to be adults, and others that are pinnacle to what comes next.


The years are captured with the help of music and other subtle clues that hit every note perfectly, giving the feeling of passages of time, and also reminding the viewer (if they were alive during these years) of those times in their own lives.

To honor the integrity of the storytelling, and to not ruin the experience of the film, I will not give an overall plot synopsis past those details.


Why I chose it: I have a running Netflix queue that I toss movies and television series in and mostly I take one at random to watch for the “lunch and a movie” viewings, but this one was a little different, this one came up immediately as a “one to watch” recommendation as soon as I opened up my Netflix App and I thought “why not“. I honestly had no idea what it was about, or even who was in it, except that the poster looked familiar to me. The passage of time storytelling technique is a favorite of mine, one I have been using in a novel I’ve been working on for the past six years off-and-on (always putting it aside because of the personal nature of it), and one I’ve loved in Richard Linklater’s Before films, as well as his recent Boyhood release. Oh, and I also have loved the Neil Simon adaptation Same Time, Next Year, since I was a wee girl. As the opening credits began I was excited to see some favorites of mine in it, Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess and Patricia Clarkson, and thought that I had definitely made a good choice this week.


My thoughts in three sentences: For the first half of the film I kept thinking to myself two things, 1) this is a very well executed story and quite enjoyably clever, and 2) why oh why is Jim Sturgess not in more films, he’s so talented. Then the second half came and it grabbed hold of me in a very emotional way, and I felt pulled in to the people and their lives, and really cared about them, and not the film anymore, or the way it was made, or who was in it. This is more than a clever film, or a nice romance, or even a well-acted movie, though it is all of those things too, but it is a realistic look at life, at growing-up, at choices we make, and those rare, few people who change us and make us so very happy, and so very miserable, and so very alive.


Best: Dexter.His story, his coming-of-age and into himself, his struggles and his self-esteem and the way he changes were so well-written and acted, and so raw and real, hard to watch at times, wonderful to watch at others, he was my favorite of the film. I loved Emma, too, and some of the secondary characters, but truly it was Dex that I fell for in this, and who I felt for, too.


Worst: Honestly not sure I have a worst. Perhaps I would have liked a bit more of certain years, one in particular, but maybe its better that some left me wanting. I really loved this movie.


Rating (out of 5): 5

“We’ve actually never met.”

12 thoughts on “One Day :: Lunch and a Movie

  1. 1) I can’t believe you had never seen this movie before.
    2) You didn’t mention Tom Mison!!! 😀

    1. 1) That’s what I thought after it ended – how have I not seen this before?
      2) Holy CRAP Tom was Callum, wasn’t he????? I kept thinking he looked FAMILIAR!

      1. Yes he was!! He may or may not have been the reason I watched it in the first place.

      1. I remember the ads for it but they weren’t right for this type of movie by what you wrote, I love the idea & now that you vouch for it I’ll give it a go. Do you ever think you could make a better trailer or commercial for a movie than what they did?

      2. Yes. I think they needed to tone down the “RomCom” feel, because its heavier than that. I also think it needed a more indie feel to the trailer, if that makes sense. This is not a romantic comedy, though there is a love story in it, in a somewhat non-conventional way.

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