After the huge success David Nicholls enjoyed with his third novel, One Day, it was somewhat inevitable that an on-screen adaptation would soon follow.
Adapted by Nicholls himself and directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education), the on-screen adaptation of One Day stars the amiable Anne Hathaway and the as-yet relatively unknown Jim Sturgess as Emma and Dexter, two friends who, after the spending the night of their graduation together, begin a friendship that spans twenty years.
The narrative of Nicholls’ novel specifically features upon a particular day each year, the 15th of July, revisiting each character as they develop and mature. Thus both Hathaway and Sturgess are required to depict Emma and Dexter through varying stages, and ages, of their life. Whether this style of narrative can translate from novel to screen remains to be seen, but it would seem that the narrative structure of the novel may prevent the film from presenting any sense of fluidity.
The novel itself, despite its undeniable popularity, was undoubtedly clichéd and often overly sentimental. Despite this, Nicholls ensured that Emma and Dexter were engaging enough to ignore the novel’s occasional flaws. The success of the film arguably rests upon the depiction of Emma and Dexter. If Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess fail to make their filmic creations as appealing, the plot’s clichés will undoubtedly win out.