‘One Day’ review: Anne Hathaway’s accent wasn’t terrible

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I was in the mood for something romantic and girly over the weekend, so I ended up seeing One Day, the film that I proclaimed, at one point, that I was never going to see. I read the book, and loved the book… up until the last third of the novel. Then I got so pissed off, I swore up and down that I wasn’t going to get involved. When the previews for the film came out, I once again swore I wasn’t going to see it, this time because Anne Hathaway’s faux English accent seemed wonky as hell, and because Jim “Pillow Weeper” Sturgess wasn’t my idea of Dexter. So… I guess I have to suck it up. I not only saw the movie, but I enjoyed it. Maybe it helped that I walked in with such low expectations. Or maybe it’s a better movie than you’ve heard.

For those unfamiliar with the story, the basic gist is: Dexter (Sturgess) and Emma (Hathaway) meet and sort-of hookup on their last day of university, on July 15. The book and the film follows Dexter and Emma on every July 15th for the next twenty years, through triumphs and heartbreaks and love and loss. As far as the film being a faithful adaptation of the book, it worked out very well. Surprisingly well, I have to admit. The kept a lot of the book in there, and they even let Hathaway have all of the funniest lines, which is true of Emma in the book. And they kept Dexter a mess, which is also true to the book.

As for the performances of the two leads… I was impressed. They had a great deal of chemistry together, despite the weird little oddness that they kind of look like brother and sister (true story – they look A LOT alike). Anne’s accent work wasn’t her best, but for the majority of the film, it wasn’t actively bad. There were only a couple of scenes where I was like, “She sounds less English and more like she’s had a stroke.” Sturgess did a wonderful job as a privileged boy who never quite gets it together, and true to his Pillow Weeper moniker, Jim cried and cried and cried. That boy can pull out the waterworks at the drop of a hat, and he’s a better weeper than Anne. But he had moments of real sexiness, and he and Anne played off of each other beautifully.

Two weird little things – Patricia Clarkson has a wonderful little part as Dexter’s glamorous and then tragic mother, and I swear, her accent work was worse than Anne’s. I love Clarkson, so that pains me. Surely they could have found a glamorous English actress for that part, right? Second weirdness: the casting of one of my favorite up-and-coming girls, Romola Garai (see her IMDB here) – she looks like Drew Barrymore and she’s one of the most talented young actresses in the UK (she’s currently starring in the new, wonderful BBC show The Hour). Romola appears in maybe many scenes later in the movie, playing an unsympathetic character that no one cared for in the book, and she made the character extremely sympathetic and lovely, and Romola stole every scene she was in. It struck me that Romola would have been a wonderful choice to play Emma, and in a few years, she IS going to be getting lead roles in Hollywood films. She’s lovely.

So, would I recommend this movie? Go see it if you’re in the mood for a romance, and you don’t mind having a good cry. It will be a good rental too.

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Photos courtesy of Fame & WENN.

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29 Responses to “‘One Day’ review: Anne Hathaway’s accent wasn’t terrible”

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  1. bite me says:

    bomb baby bomb

  2. LOVE ANGELINA says:

    “She sounds less English and more like she’s had a stroke.”

    LMAO.

    Sounds like a great movie to watch when it hits cable. I saw Fright Night this weekend. It was awesome.

  3. S says:

    Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights anyone??? (re: Romola Garai)

  4. neve says:

    Lol i live with someone from yorkshire, and AH’s accent, although interesting, isn’t good=p

  5. ordinarygirl86 says:

    Kaiser you and I seen to be the only people who think that Romola Garai is the next big thing and Oscar winner IMO- she’s so immensly talented that it pains me when someone like Olivia Wilde is able to snag Hollywood roles left and right despite her lack of talent!

  6. Quest says:

    Her Accent wasn’t terrible…it just SUCKED big time.

  7. MK says:

    I have loved Romola Garai since the most recent BBC remake of Emma. She is fantastic and so charming. I really hope she gets more roles in the US.

  8. Pyewacket says:

    Just from the ads I think her accent is dreadful, and has zero authenticity about it.

  9. Fran says:

    I think it was the author who also acted like screenwriter, so maybe that’s why the movie is so faithful to the book!

  10. Adrien says:

    Anne did a fine job in “Becoming Jane”.

  11. Ell says:

    Kaiser, how strange, we’re in the UK and my friend said the exact same thing – Romola Garai would have been a perfect choice for Emma.

  12. theotheryael says:

    dragged the boy to this over the weekend. he actually thought it was pretty good and decently funny (which is amazing since he generally despises girly movies).

    while anne’s accent was halfway to atrocious, i thought she did a good job as emma. and jim managed to pull off dexter as i imagined him (for the most part).

    also re: romola garai – i’m a total fangirl of hers.

  13. RocketMerry says:

    I actively dislike Anne. And I actively LOVE Jim. So maybe I’ll see this movie.

  14. esblondie says:

    I’ll tell you one thing, I definitely wouldn’t kick that Sturgess fella out of bed.

  15. Amanda says:

    “Anne Hathaway’s accent wasn’t terrible”

    Watching with the sound off were you?

  16. Marianne says:

    I saw this One Day this weekend, and I enjoyed it as well. Can’t say it was one of my top favourites of the year…but the kind of film I could see again on dvd. And I agree about Anne’s accent. It wasn’t as atrocious as everyone makes it out to be. I found that sometimes she slipped back into her american accent a couple of times though. But I did like it, and it was a faithful adaptation of the book.

  17. jc126 says:

    I have such an irrational hatred for Anne H., and a rational hatred for sappy movies, I seriously doubt I’ll see this one. I don’t know why, but I see her face and I just want to punch her.

  18. Lindy says:

    OOOOO another Romola Garai fan! Kaiser, have you seen _I Capture the Castle_? She’s in it, and so is Bill Nighy (who is brilliant in pretty much everything, ever). It’s also a great book. And she was in the most recent BBC remake of _Emma_ and did a fantastic job. Jonny Lee Miller plays Mr. Knightley, though, and while I love him, and he did a decent job, he’s too young for that role. Ummm, off topic. Sorry:)

    But you’re kind of making me want to go see this movie–and I do like Anne Hathaway, so we’ll see…

  19. Happy21 says:

    I saw this at a premiere last Thursday and I had not seen any trailers or read the book and I had no idea that it took place in London and Paris until I was on my way to the theatre. Knowing that Anne was doing her English accent I wanted to turn around and go home. The movie was decent. I didn’t pay for it and probably wouldn’t have but it was decent. I really didn’t like the story though which has nothing to do with the actors or the acting abilities. Jim Sturgess is nice to look at though which made it most tolerable!

  20. buckley says:

    LOVE Romola Garai, and can’t wait to watch The Hour.

  21. mina says:

    LOVED the book, even the ending. It was just lovely. I can’t wait to see the movie too, even though I think Anne is not a good Emma. Physically, I imagined someone more like Kat Dennings. LOVE Jim STurgess, he could weep into my pillows anytime!

  22. Penguin says:

    I’m from Gloucestershire, England and what irritates me about Hollywood is that they think every1 in England either speaks like the queen or has a cockney accent. I would love to watch a Hollywood film where the actor/actress attempts a brummie accent or Liverpudlian accent.

  23. Annie_Grey says:

    Romola did great in “Amazing Grace”. Barely recognized her with red hair. Looks great on her.

  24. Ally says:

    I liked the Jezebel review, titled:

    Why One Day is the Most Toxic Romantic Comedy of the Year
    http://jezebel.com/5832682/why-one-day-is-the-most-toxic-romance-of-the-year?tag=one-day

    The gist is that Emma has to become worthy of Dex by becoming pretty and succesful, whereas Dex is a catch when he’s a down and out self-centred loser.

    Yeah, won’t be spending my money on this one. With an English actress in the lead, maybe, but her cringey accent on top of this plot, no.

  25. Kaiser says:

    Ally – The problem with the Jezebel piece is that it sounds like they didn’t read the source material – a very popular book (which I disliked).

  26. Elizabeth says:

    @ Kaiser and Ally

    The Jezebel reviewer stated that she didn’t read the book and so it was just a review of the movie without “but its not the same as the book” overtones. I also haven’t read the book and so I was fine with that perspective. I liked the Jezebel review and I thought it hit on some good points.

  27. Slim Charles says:

    I read the Jezebel review too. I like Anne Hathaway, but doubt I will even rent this one.

  28. Dee Vine says:

    Hated the book as Emma Morley is such an uninspiring character. Agree Hathaway is totally miscast, plus she’s over rated. agree that the other girl in the photos look like she should be Emma instead.

  29. Amy says:

    Love Romola Garai!