This is the film adaptation of a book I've long wanted to read but haven't quite found the time for just yet... David Nicholls published the text in 2009 and it was shortly adapted into the 2011 silver-screen version starring Anne Hathaway as UK Northern lass (with a terrible put-on accent) Emma and the beautiful Jim Sturgess as Dexter.
Now, this is one of those books that I've wanted to read, but only really because other people rave about it. That's probably why I never got round to it, because I didn't know enough about the plot and was never totally and completely drawn to it. I think the fact that Anne Hathaway is in the film kind of put me off even reading the book because I've really never liked any of her works at all. Nonetheless, when I was full of flu today I decided to make the most of the fact the film was available on Sky Anytime and settled down with my Halls Soothers and lemon tea and began to endure nearly two hours of what reminded me of one of my other least favourite films which scandalizes everyone around me, When Harry Met Sally.
The plot follows Emma and Dexter who spend graduation night from Edinburgh University together but decide not to bonk eachother's brains out. Then through a series of unfortunate events years and years pass and they still don't bonk eachother's brains out. In fact, Dexter becomes a horrendously boring coke-head television presenter and Emma becomes and even more horrendously boring frigid school teacher with a hilariously nerdy 'comedian' boyfriend called Ian (Rafe Spall).
Consequentially, although Ian only plays a small part, he is one of the best characters in the whole film. He's possibly the only character I actually related to throughout because he is just so normal and genuine, doing everything he can to please his girlfriend and although he sometimes gets it wrong, ('Choose anything from the menu, Em... as long as it is cheaper than £14... only joking... get whatever you want... within... reason' *INSERT CHEESY SMILE WHICH MAKES YOU INWARDLY CRINGE BUT EQUALLY WANT TO CUDDLE THE POOR GUY*) his heart is generally in the right place and he worships the ground she walks on.
Another character that I loved throughout was the character of Dexter's mother Alison (Patricia Clarkson) who begins as a vibrant, young-at-heart, proud mother but ends as a disappointed, desperate, disheartened cancer sufferer who ultimately succumbs. She tells her son that she doesn't 'like' him any more but that she has faith that one day he will be a good man. I just felt so sorry for her that my eyes even watered a little bit.
Even Dexter's grumpy misogynistic father Steven (Ken Stott) had a bigger likeability factor than either of the main characters. At one point he states that if Dexter shows up in the same intoxicated state to see his dying mother as he did the previous time, he won't permit him access no matter how much Alison wants to see him. I loved this because this was the only realistic part of the whole film in my opinion. The only part that I could imagine relating to.
I'm not going 'ruin the surprise' or spoil the (terribly disappointing) climax of the film for you, but I felt a bit cheated when it all ended to say the least.
This is because essentially the whole film is about two people that end up letting themselves drift away from one another, wasting all their time letting 'life' get in the way, using up all their spare time on lacklustre love interests when they would quite obviously make a much better plot if they just pursued the romance that is staring them in the face. I don't enjoy films when I spend most of my time being annoyed at the characters because they seem so blindingly stupid. It is a bit like horror film when the brainless teenager walks into the dark and allegedly haunted mansion. When I want to scream 'YOUR WIFE IS CHEATING ON YOU', 'YOUR SON IS A COKEHEAD', 'YOUR BEST FRIEND IS THE ONE' the whole way through, I just can't relax. Then again, it isn't really in my nature to relax.
Anyway, since watching the film (which by the way speeds through the lives of the two characters so quickly that what would usually have been the climax of the whole film, where they finally do bonk eachother's brains out, is skimmed right past without almost any reference) I am even more torn about reading the book. Part of me says, 'NONONO it will be an even further waste of your time DO NOT DO IT, it will only make you angry'... But then another part of me says, 'Maybe it is just a REALLY TERRIBLE film adaptation and the book is quite as good as everyone says...'
I don't know! What do you think? Have you read One Day by David Nicholls? Have you seen the film? Do films like this make you angry?
Love and snuggles