Thursday, September 1, 2011

One Day - Book/Movie Combo

Welcome to a new feature at Collenie’s Couch, Movie Book Combo. So many films are made from books, right? Well, I always wonder what is better. Should I read the book first? It’s common knowledge that the movie never seems to live up to the book, but what are we going to do? I’m sure readers of this blog equally love books and movies. I’ve decided to dissect both in this feature. I actually started this with Never Let Me Go, but I didn’t quite finish that post. Look for it in the near future. I’m trying to finish up all my summer movie reviews first and then I’ll back track to some posts I never completed.

Instead, we’re going to kick this off with David Nicholls book and the current film starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess…One Day.

First, the book.

My daughter read this first and passed it on to me. It was one of the few books that sucked me in immediately. We meet Emma and Dexter on July 15th, the day they graduate from college 1998. The book checks in on them every July 15th through 2006. It’s a wonderful premise and Nicholls handles it brilliantly. Since it’s always the same day, important life milestones can’t always happen and this creates a very different path for a book. You may think small snippets of a large period of time would make it difficult to feel a deep connection with the main characters, but this is not the case. We hear Emma’s story and Dexter’s story. Sometimes they are in each other’s lives and other times they are not. The dialogue is biting and witty and I often laughed out loud no matter where I was reading. Also, their inner dialogue with themselves was often funnier than what was being spoken. It was also fun to read all the UK references. Emma didn’t wear glasses, she wore spectacles! Characters snogged and shagged, for me it was a wonderful change. I loved spending time with the characters, the story was well fleshed out…it really was one of the best books I’ve read in quite a while.

Now, the movie.

Well, my daughter and I were already worried that this would not transfer well to screen. Yet, how could we not see it? This film was basically a shining example of why some books should never be brought to the screen. As far as Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess go, they were wonderful! They had great chemistry and were completely believable as Emma and Dexter. The problem was trying to cover almost twenty years in less than two hours. I hope someone reading this has seen the movie without reading the book. It’s hard for me to know, because I feel if you didn’t read the book, you find it all very confusing. I’d like to know what you thought if you saw it. Minor characters were very miscast. Ian had no redeeming qualities whatsoever, Sylvie wasn’t quite cold enough and Suki was way too tall. The whole point of her was how loud she was in comparison with her small size. None of it really matters though because you saw such brief moments of them, they had no impact. Also, I realize you have to pick and choose when you transfer a book to screen, but a major event that happened to Emma’s character was taken out. This really made a difference as to who she was as a person and thus changes your perception of the character. Some scenes and dialogue were lifted straight from the book and they were great. The visualization of Dexter’s TV show “Largin’ It” was spot on. Sadly, the scene was so brief, I don’t think viewers even got a chance to digest it.

In the end, the book works. The movie does not. What are your thoughts? Have you read One Day, or seen the movie? Sound off. What do think of this new feature? Am I asking too many questions?


Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

No, you are not asking too many questions! I haven't see One Day, so I'm woefully prepared to answer your queries... :) saw you at SITS

Anonymous said...

This new blog feature of yours is a really cool idea! And the book you're talking about reminds me a bit of "The Time Traveller's Wife" where the reader also gets snippets of the life of one of the main characters. I haven't read "One day" but your review really makes me want to read it now.
Thanks for visiting my blog, by the way!

Dan O. said...

I have not read the book yet but seeing this film really made me lose interest to be brutally honest, even though Sturgess and Hathaway were both good. There was only so much they could do. Good Review!

Runs Like A Gay said...

Great way to review the movie, comparing it to the book.

I think the film improved on some points, I liked the characters so much more in the film, however the rushing through the years did somehow lessen's it's overall impact.

Oh, and I thought "Largin' It" was far too tame, looking like must-see TV instead of a "The Word" knocok it should have been.