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One Day (2011)



Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 140
Fresh: 51 | Rotten: 89

Despite some fresh narrative twists, One Day lacks the emotion, depth, or insight of its bestselling source material.


Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 28

Despite some fresh narrative twists, One Day lacks the emotion, depth, or insight of its bestselling source material.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 30,897

My Rating

Movie Info

After one day together - July 15th, 1988, their college graduation - Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) begin a friendship that will last a lifetime. She is a working-class girl of principle and ambition who dreams of making the world a better place. He is a wealthy charmer who dreams that the world will be his playground. For the next two decades, key moments of their relationship are experienced over several July 15ths in their lives. Together and apart, we see Dex


Drama, Romance, Comedy

David Nicholls

Nov 29, 2011


Focus Features - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (140) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (89)

The film might make the book look less astute and interesting than it is, but it still has an undeniable emotional wallop by its close.

August 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One Day is just a gimmicky "new" way of doing an old-fashioned love story. But we'll hear much more of Sturgess, Hathaway, and Lone Scherfig.

August 23, 2011 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's what a Nicholas Sparks movie would be if it were aimed at grown women rather than teenage girls.

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The result is a rom-com with ambition, keen to actually develop the characters and to mix a few tears with the laughs. Well, the effort is admirable, the movie not so much.

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Miscasting aside, there's simply very little excitement to the film since you can see where it's going -- chances are even just by reading this review -- right from the start.

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Lone Scherfig, working from Nicholls's screenplay, takes a big step back here from An Education, her last film

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For everyone who's grown tired of the summer onslaught of superheroes, save-the-world plots and explosions, Hollywood finally offers some decent counter-programming in the form of the brainy romance One Day.

February 28, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

Ends better than it begins -- or middles.

January 14, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

I couldn't help but feel the film was lent shades of colour by the book; colour that simply doesn't exist on the screen. I projected 435 pages of joy onto a film that probably didn't deserve it.

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source:

An average romantic dramedy, 'One Day' tips its hand so early in the game that you won't be a bit surprised by anything that ensues.

December 22, 2011 Full Review Source: KWQC-TV (Iowa)
KWQC-TV (Iowa) can't help feeling this dreary tale could have done with a bit of fancy editing or narrative reconstruction.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source:

The most entertaining and engrossing romantic film to hit theaters in ages...

December 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

The leads work well together but are held back by cheap sentimentalism when we should be on a journey with the characters.

September 18, 2011 Full Review Source: The National
The National

Such a simple and small premise would and should yield a simple and small movie -- something not so heavy and epic, but more lovely and amazing.

September 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Sherfig's visual knack is better than she realizes; she should stop dressing it up within an inch of its life.

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

Danish director Lone Scherfig (An Education) deliberately veers away from comedy to deliver a surprisingly earthy, soulful romance.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

It's a profoundly moving book. Still, the movie is strangely remote, and straining for tears.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source:

A frothy cappuccino of a film with lots of tears, quivering lips and cathartic embraces and little substance.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

It doesn't quite deliver on its promise, but this remains a witty, touching and largely enjoyable adaptation.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

What should've been an epic romance, a challenger to The Notebook, becomes a melancholy, disconnected drama, despite the talent on display.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieFIX

The most desperate, cloying weepie seen in many a long time.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

The story is told in a very episodic manner, but Lone Scherfig crafts it well and the film is well edited to keep it feeling as one. It feels exciting and unexpected, even though you know really it never is.

September 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

There's not really a chance to go very deep here, but the two leads are so strong that they make us believe in them anyway.

August 31, 2011 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

Despite the patchiness and the heavily signposted and melodramatic plot points, One Day concludes magnificently.

August 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Autopsy
Cinema Autopsy

It doesn't really work. I still cried.

August 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Ultra Culture
Ultra Culture

You are hereby advised to ignore the bad reviews and check out this fairly stunning meditation on life, love, and friendship.

August 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Blather | Comments (2)
Film Blather

Audience Reviews for One Day

The story of one significant day in the lives of two friends over many years is told in such quick flashes that anything resembling emotional attachment to its characters dissipates with the fog of these lazy transitions. These two numbskulls meet at their college graduation and proceed to remain friends for a significant number of years. Looking at the same day every day for twenty years the film tries to delve into the neurosis of the two and show that they are meant to be together. Neither of these characters is very likable, interesting, or entertaining, because both of them are selfish, both are juvenile in the way they show their emotions, and both never seem to learn from their various mistakes. Emma (Hathaway) ruins her life, falls for the wrong man and settles, and loses any respect for her former friend. In confluence Dexter (Sturgess) sells out, becomes a drug addict, and loses any self-respect. Some things change over the years, but really it's about long term change over a period of time. These drawn out storylines last years and years and don't entertain, mostly because their sorrows revolve around their own morbid senses of self-worth. Over the years they may grow closer together, but there's no buildup to their inevitable relationship. It's one scene, that only shows how shallow and beaten down Emma is to finally fall for Dexter's shtick. The rest of the movie results in a bunch of jumbled, half-thought out ideas that result in a lackluster ending. There's just no heart to this film, no chemistry between the two leads, and no decent ending to tie it together, just false sentimentalities to make up for a film that steers nowhere. Anyone would agree there's really nothing to love in this love story.
August 5, 2013

Super Reviewer

While there's certainly innovation here and I generally enjoy romantic films (and I certainly enjoyed this one), I have to admit that there's something lacking in the way it ended. The actors did as best they could with the material but maybe it's just that mushy-cushy feeling and predictability you always get with these films that sometimes just doesn't cut it for me.
July 7, 2012

Super Reviewer

Well i can't say i had high hopes for this movie, mainly because of the poor ratings and reviews, i haven't read the book so lucky for me i didnt have anything to compare it to!
But apart from it being a bit bleak and me disliking Dexter Mayhew as a character its an okay Romantic drama with Hathaway even bringing some light comedy to it!
For the faults of the movie, where it may have been directed better and more emotion put into the movie as there was potential for it to be tragic, cryfest romantic drama but it failed to capture that emotion and pass it across to the audience, that all said i think Hathaway should get plus points for her acting, she was funny, and gorgeous as ever and did a remarkably believable and good english accent that so many other american actors fail to accomplish!
It is my type of Romantic movie because its not all lovey dovey with the two main characters hopelessly in love and nothing bad happens and they live happily ever after, which is just unrealistic this movie is more honest and although i didnt think Mayhew deserved Emma its still a sweet enough romantic drama not the best but certainly not the worst i would say its worth a watch even if it is only the once!
June 11, 2012
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Directed by Lone Scherfig, Color Force, 2011. Starring Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Rafe Spall and Patricia Clarkson.

Genre: Drama, Romance.

Question: Remember the date when you met the love of your life? Some romantic relationships start right away but there are those that have to ferment before they come to fruition. However, what happens when you become friends with them and they don't realize you're their soul-mate yet? Well, there is real-life and then there is the movie version. Hollywood loves stories like this, don't they?

Okay, I watched One Day today and it shot me right back to my youth and this one particular guy in my life that I remained friends with... And that's all I will say about that. You all probably have that one person in your life that you were willing to sacrifice your passion for because the other doesn't quite see you that way... yet (hopefully). Well, that's One Day in a nutshell.

Two university grads, Emma and Dex, in Edinburgh meet on graduation day - a specific day to be exact and strike up a relationship that could have ended that day. However, fate steps in and veers the two in a direction of a great friendship even though there are feelings there. Over the course of the movie you see both living their lives, post graduation, finding their way (separately) but still in contact. It's called One Day because we see them connect via phone or in person on the same day of the year that they met. And that's it - no more details of the story because this one took a path that I wasn't expecting and want you to discover it on your own.

Let's talk about the actors. I am a fan of Anne Hathaway. I have to be; I have a daughter and Hathaway's early movies (The Princess Diaries 1 & 2 and Ella Enchanted) were played a lot over the past few years. Anyway, I enjoy watching Anne Hathaway (Emma) act and she was really good in One Day. She personified the typical female who is in love with her best friend, lost in her path of being an adult because she holds no confidence in herself all while struggling to understand the inevitable - that the guy will probably never realize she's the one. She particularly showed the angst of her unrequited love of Dex (played by Jim Sturgess) convincingly well. However, she was supposed to have a British accent that went in and out but that really didn't bother me all that much.

Although unfamiliar with any of his previous work, Jim Sturgess, Dex, did a good job at performing opposite of Anne Hathaway. Dex personified the bad boy character that is spoiled and thinks he deserves to have his cake and eat it too, no matter who gets hurt in the process. Sure, many leading romantic male leads share this persona but usually they have redeeming qualities revealed along the way to evoke some sort of sympathy. Except for his friendship with Emma, (and sometimes he didn't quite deserve it), I didn't see many likable qualities, however, that may have been the point. You will see.

Does this Hollywood story have a happy ending? Well, you know I am NOT going to tell you. I will say that I giggled a few times, cried a bit (okay, maybe one scene got me to cry a bit more) and I am still pondering the ending. One detail that I should mention: It's called One Day because the movie only reveals one day, the same date, each year. Yes, I mentioned this before but it was a little awkward at first because many things happen on other days of the year that you would expect to see in the film but are only mentioned or discussed later. It took some getting used now you know.

My favorite thing: That somethings only happen in the movies.

My least favorite thing: That somethings only happen in the movies.

Rating: PG-13
Length: 107 minutes

Review: 6 out of 10
May 22, 2012
Tired of Previews
Tired of Previews

Super Reviewer

    1. Emma Morley: A tortilla is either corn or wheat. But a corn tortilla folded and filled is a taco, whereas a filled wheat tortilla is a burrito. Deep fry a burrito, it's a chimichanga.Toast a tortilla, it's a tostada. Roll it, it's an enchilada.
    – Submitted by Lili Y (2 years ago)
    1. Alison: Drunken hugs.
    – Submitted by Charisse M (2 years ago)
    1. Emma: If I can't talk to you then what's the point of you?
    – Submitted by Oshin B (2 years ago)
    1. Emma Morley: Whatever happens tomorrow, We've had today. And if we should bump into each other sometime in the future, well that's fine too, we'll be friends.
    – Submitted by Kathleen E (2 years ago)
    1. Mr. Cope: One day.
    – Submitted by Wilawan N (2 years ago)
    1. Emma: A tortilla is either corn or wheat. But a corn tortilla folded and filled is a taco, whereas a filled wheat tortilla is a burrito. Deep fry a burrito, it's a chimichanga.Toast a tortilla, it's a tostada. Roll it, it's an enchilada.
    – Submitted by Dennis L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (14)

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