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Bonkers for Books! — One Day

By Katie Steen and Ella Jenak in Arts & Culture

“Bonkers for Books!” is a recurring feature by Royal Banner reporters Katie Steen and Ella Jenak about novels that have been adapted into movies. This week, they compare and contrast David Nichol's 2009 novel “One Day” with its 2011 film adaptation, directed by Lone Scherfig.

The Novel “One Day” tells the story of the day Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew first met and the evolution of their relationship over the course of the next 19 years. The novel shows snippets of their friendship and romance on the same day, July 15th, of every year. Although the general description of the book sounds cheery and romantic, the plot is redundant and depressing. For the majority of the book, Dexter is essentially an egotistical jerk, constantly thinking only of himself. He flaunts his fame from hosting television shows, parties almost every night and has a distinct lack of appreciation for his best friend, Emma. Emma, on the other hand, suffers from a fear of enjoying herself and the disappointment of working a job she hates: waiting tables at a dumpy Mexican chain restaurant. Despite all this, the book does make good use of a plethora of charming British words: fringe, bog, toff and telly being only a few examples. A very patient reader who appreciates slow books might enjoy “One Day,” but to the average busy student, reading this novel is waste of valuable time.

The Film

Katie’s Thoughts:

Let me just start by explaining how I am as a moviegoer. My favorite movies of all time are those where basically nothing bad EVER happens, and the ending leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy, like “Clueless” and “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off”. Also--I am a big crier. I leave sad movies feeling dejected and upset with the world and I usually go home and eat a lot of ice cream and maybe try to watch a funny TV show to lift my spirits. If you are anything like me, I would NOT suggest that you see “One Day.” Despite the very attractive leads (Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway), there is almost no substance to the movie and the overall message is extremely depressing. For the majority of the movie everything that is happening is tragic, and then just when things are starting to make a turn for the better, the directors deliver a huge shock that leaves you (if you are like me) bawling for the rest of the movie (aannd on the car ride home...what?). If you are a tough cookie, you can go ahead and see this movie, but otherwise STAY AWAY.

Ella’s Thoughts:

I (unlike Katie) am not a “crier” at the movies. Although I feel remorse for characters as they suffer though conflicts and disappointment, never have I shed a tear for them. In fact, the closest I’ve come to crying during a movie was watching Marley and Me (you know which part I’m talking about) when my eyes watered up like they do after a big yawn. So, I enjoyed the unexpected catastrophe at the end of “One Day.” It added much needed excitement to the monotonous film and revealed a sensitive aspect of Dexter’s character, very different than his typical, self-centered personality. I also appreciated the faster pace of the film in comparison to the novel. Simple events that were dragged on for pages in the novel were made a more appropriate length in the movie. Jim Sturgess did a fantastic job capturing Dexter’s jerkiness and it was interesting to watch Anne Hathaway (Emma) transform from an awkward 20-something to a beautiful, chic woman. “One Day” perfectly sums up the simplistic book that it’s based on in a much more convenient time frame.

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