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Blu-ray Review: One Day (2011)

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According to all of the people that are always telling me to get out and meet people, there are these things called “friends.” Said groupings of comrades typically consist of guys or gals, but things tend to get a little awkward when the full range of the sexual spectrum is represented — especially sex itself. One Day, a 2011 film that brings us the tale of Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess): two English people who hook up for a drunken-yet-platonic one night stand the night of their college graduation on July 15, 1988.

Though their excursion into the land of the nookie never even warrants so much as a pith helmet, the two remain friends for years to come; keeping in contact, living together as roommates, and ringing the other up occasionally when they need a shoulder to cry on — all the while concealing the fact that they are actually, secretly in love with one another. Like the A.R. Gurney play Love Letters or the play (and film) Same Time, Next Year, the focus here is on how the film’s characters progress over the next twenty years or so, as we travel from one July 15 to another.

We witness Emma settle for second best and engage in a relationship with a total nerd (Rafe Spall), and Dexter’s rise to late night TV fame and subsequent descent into drugs and alcohol after his mother (Patricia Clarkson) passes away from cancer. We see the hopes and dreams every college-aged individual has dissipate as maturity (and common sense) sets in. We also get to hear Anne Hathaway do her best at pulling off an English accent — something that very few American viewers will note as being particularly lousy. But, of course, that’s neither here nor there: it’s the movie itself that matters, right?

For my money, One Day is a fairly decent romantic piece (aside from a song by Elvis Costello that plays over the end credits and is god-awful — what were you thinking, man?), with some fine performances from its cast, and a decent script by David Nicholls (who adapted his own novel here for the screenplay — something that needs to happen more in the film industry). The nerd in me wants to complain at how poor the movie’s memory is on the release dates of ‘90s cinema, naturally (somebody should have done their homework), but I think I‘ll just shrug it off this time.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment brings us this romantic drama to Blu-ray in a beautiful transfer that shows off some of the film’s great locales, while the disc’s detail reminds us just how uncomfortable some of those ‘90s fashions were. Accompanying the film (which is presented in a 2.35:1 ratio) is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtracks that suffices admirably considering this isn’t a bang-bang kinda moving picture. Additional audio options include an English DVS 2.0, and Spanish and French DTS 5.1 mixes. Removable subtitles are provided in English (SDH), Spanish and French.

Special features for One Day include an audio commentary with director Lone Scherfig, a couple of deleted scenes, and three behind-the-scenes fluff pieces entitled “Em and Dex, Through the Years,” “Anne Hathaway: Bringing Emma to Life,” and “The Look of One Day.”

In short: despite the fact it did so poorly at the box office (and it did) One Day isn’t that bad of a chick flick. In fact, it might even become popular about twenty years down the road or so.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.