I recently came across the movie “One Day,” which is about a male and female character who don’t-quite-get-together at college graduation. The story then follows this friendship (and leaning toward more…) for 18 years.
My first thought was “Same Time Next Year” (remember that movie?). And it’s true that “One Day” has a similar theme, although perhaps a little more gritty and realistic (based in England).
The problem is that the storyline was hard to follow, jumping from one year to the next. The scenes often felt like they weren’t complete – that the director or writer had to rush it to meet time constraints.
But I was intrigued enough that I decided to read the book and see how it compared.
My first comment is this: out of all the millions of books that could become decent films, why try to force this one into a movie format? The passage of time and the incomplete scenes (the reader has to fill in the blanks) make this movie extremely difficult to pull off. It was an admirable effort (the actors in particular had much challenge and I have to hand it to them), but didn’t quite make it, in my opinion. Had I not gone on to read the book, this movie would not have been worth the time to write this blog post.
The book was SO much more, SO much better.
If you like stories about best friends falling in love (a theme in my book Last Chance Rescue), you’d like One Day. Although it sure takes a while! There was one point where I got a little impatient (“can’t they see it?!”) but for the most part, the twists and turns each characters’ lives took kept me in it for the long haul.
These are twists and turns and personal growth/development that you feel in your gut are honest, that could happen in real life. And the final twist…well, I didn’t see that coming (and I won’t give it away here). It’s not a happy ending, but not a thorough tear-jerker Nicholas Sparks-type ending either.
In fact, the story of Dexter and Emma was so good, I even overlooked my biggest pet peeve. Namely, that the point-of-view could switch at a moment’s notice. (Yep, even from paragraph to paragraph, which normally drives me batty). It could even swing to the point of view of a tiny bit player – for example, a waitress at a bar, a forgettable character. But at least that character made observations that added to their story (which was, actually, a bit necessary, since the above-mentioned “shorting” of scenes was in fact part of the written novel).
At any rate, the novel was a pleasant surprise. I think I subconsciously expected not to finish it based on the movie! I loved the characters (well, I didn’t LOVE Dexter for part of the book, but that was the point).