One Day follows a couple of English types in a relationship that last two decades. Anne Hathaway (decent accent) and Jim Sturgess (he looks so obviously British) hook up during graduation night and continue their relationship in an off and on again manner. At times their love is verily platonic, and at times their animosity is romantic.
The action follows a linear path. We observe them interact for one day each year. That one-day, July 15th, has meaning in the UK as its St. Swithin’s Day, which I guess is kind of like an American holiday that the rest of the world doesn’t care about (hello Thanksgiving). The director Lone Scherfig previously helmed An Education. Who knew that Londoners know as much or more about Tex Mex than Texans? One Day observes the rules of rom coms to a degree. We don’t have that mushy fake kind of romance that movies like Something Borrowed excel in nor is the action totally unrealistic like in the hugely successful The Proposal.
The movie, which is based on an international best seller, drops a huge plot twist in the audience’s lap near the end. At this point the movie stops being linear and begins to explore the pair’s relationship in a manner that crosses time and space, not unlike an essay by J. B. Priestley. Memories and things that went before take on new meaning. And really without this twist One Day would be just another rom com. Instead, One Day becomes a delight and profound in the way it reflects love, commitment and devotion.
— Michael Bergeron