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'One Day' at a time: a love story

Published September 03. 2011 09:01AM

One day you may meet your own true love.

The movie, "One Day," proposes you may already have, but didn't realize it.

Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) are University of Edinburgh graduates who meet annually for friendship and frolic. She's drawn up a strict list of rules. They rarely get past the big R, as in Romance.

Over the years, 1988 - 2011, which the movie informs us in a somewhat dizzying succession of the July 15 date and year superimposed on a scene (sometimes the letters and numbers disintegrate like dust. Other times, the date and year appears on an item what appears to be a microwave, for example) in a particular scene.

Emma and Dexter are each in loveless relationships. She goes from a job as a waitress at a Mexican-themed restaurant to becoming a teacher. He becomes an MTV-style TV host, or "presenter," as it's said in Britain.

The screenplay was written by David Nicholls from his best-selling novel. An author adapting his or her own novel for a screenplay is not always a good idea. Many of the scenes don't advance to the plot, a twist on the play and move, "Same Time, Next Year," and the movie, "When Harry Met Sally."

An example of one of the "One Day" screenplay dead ends is a reference to St. Swithin's Day, which is July 15. Nothing is done in the movie with the St. Swithin's reference. The legend, whereby whatever the weather is like in England on St. Swithin's Day will continue for the next 40 days, is not detailed. Nor does the screenplay tell us that St. Swithin was Saxon Bishop of Winchester, famous for charitable gifts and building churches, including Winchester Cathedral.

Another example are scenes where Emma is shown swimming. It speaks to her athleticism. Yet, as with swimming laps, it doesn't go anywhere.

Director Lone Scherfig ("An Education") is unable to smooth out the script's rough cloth. Scherfig is not helped by often murky and too-dark cinematography unflattering to the Hathaway and Sturgess.

Sturgess (Jude in "Across the Universe") doesn't hold his own opposite Hathaway. He doesn't give as good as he gets. He's no young Hugh Grant, that's for sure.

"One Day" will be of chief interest to fans of Anne Hathaway and those who read the book.

"One Day," MPAA rated PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13) for sexual content, partial nudity, language, some violence and substance abuse; Genre: Drama, Romance; Run time: 1 hr., 47 min. Distributed by Focus Features.

Credit Readers Anonymous: Two new songs by English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, including ''Sparkling Day," heard during the closing credits, are included in "One Day."

Box Office, Aug. 26: This time "The Help" got some help from Hurricane Irene, which kept all but the brave of heart at home, notching No. 1 two weeks in a row, $14.3 million, $96.6 million, three weeks, keeping "Columbiana," opening at No. 2 with $10.3 million, and "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," opening at No. 3 with $8.6 million; 4. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," $8.6 million, $148.4 million, four weeks; 5. "Our Idiot Brother," $6.5 million, opening; 6. "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D," $5.7 million, $21.7 million; opening; 7. "The Smurfs," $4.8 million, $125.9 million, five weeks; 8. "Conan the Barbarian," $3.1 million, $16.5 million, two weeks; 9. "Fright Night," $3 million, $14.2 million, two weeks; 10. "Crazy, Stupid, Love," $2.9 million; $69.5 million, five weeks; 13. "One Day, " $2.3 million, $9.6 million, two weeks.

Unreel, Aug. 26:

"Saving Private Perez": PG-13: A Mexican drug lord leads his enforcers to raid Iraq and rescue his brother in the adventure-comedy.

"A Good Old Fashioned Orgy," Rated R: Thirtysomethings try to turn back the clock in the comedy starring Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Bibb and Lake Bell.

"Apollo 18," PG-13: The science fiction thriller includes alleged found footage from NASA's Apollo mission, said to be the reason the United States has never returned to the moon.

"The Debt," R: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain and Tom Wilkinson star in an espionage thriller about tracking a Nazi war criminal.

"Shark Night 3D," PG-13: A Louisiana lake house becomes a nightmare destination when the sharks attack in the horror film.

Read previous movie reviews at Email Paul Willistein at: and on Facebook.

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