Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
It's a frustrating film, never light enough on its feet to be cute, never heartfelt enough to achieve "You had me at 'Hello.'"
Miscasting aside, there's simply very little excitement to the film since you can see where it's going -- chances are even just by reading this review -- right from the start.
Hathaway and Sturgess lack the chemistry to make us yearn to see them together. They're all wrong for each other physically, tonally, logically, which only makes "One Day" feel a whole lot longer.
A miscast, underwritten, drably directed adaptation of a very popular novel, it's the feel-bad film of the summer and an almost perfect example of how not to turn a book into a movie.
Scherfig demonstrated her ability to infuse a talky script with plenty of wordless mood in An Education. But in One Day, the words - many of them taken directly from the book - are never convincing.
New York Times:
"One Day" turns an episodic story into an anthology of feelings and associations, many familiar, a few surprising, some embarrassing and one or two worth holding onto.
For much of its running time it somehow fails to capture what makes the book work so well.
The movie maintains a sour undercurrent of emotional imbalance, as Sturgess' neediness and hatefulness dominate the story, even as he remains the more dynamic and protean personality.
We simply zoom in and zoom out of the characters' lives rather than develop any kind of emotional attachment to them.
When a movie inflates the importance of a love story that is predominantly comic in tone, even with a fair share of grief and loss built into the plot, that love story takes on more than it can handle.
Christian Science Monitor:
Director Lone Scherfig, working from Nicholls's screenplay, takes a big step back here from An Education, her last film
Eric D. Snider,
It's what a Nicholas Sparks movie would be if it were aimed at grown women rather than teenage girls.
An unusual but ultimately successful piecemeal approach to romantic drama that follows a couple on the same day for each of 20 years.
Los Angeles Times:
As so often happens with love, what you hope for is not even close to what you get, and in this case we are left with a heartbreaking disappointment of a film.
One Day turns out to be less about enjoying a traditional happy ending than an admonishment to stop wasting time, get on with the business of living and enjoy every single moment with the ones you love.
Few films "get" the strange, intertwining bonds of affection quite so effortlessly, although the episodic structure keeps the drama from flowing nicely.
No popular storyteller ever went broke stoking the undying female fantasy that if a good woman puts her mind to it, a heel can always be brought to heel.
New York Post:
There are no sparks whatsoever, and that's always a deal-breaker for me in romantic films.
New York Observer:
It's a sweet, harmless, meandering tale with an engaging gimmick, but a great love story -- or a great movie -- it's not.
The performances are overeager. Particularly distracting is Hathaway's accent, which is less Yorkshire than New York.
In a season of movies dumb and dumber, "One Day" has style, freshness, and witty bantering dialogue.
This tear-jerking twaddle, adapted by David Nicholls from his 2009 bestseller, is nearly as bad as Anne Hathaway's British accent, which is heading for infamy.
You could definitely call it awful, and I'm about to do so, repeatedly and effusively.
Globe and Mail:
The result is a rom-com with ambition, keen to actually develop the characters and to mix a few tears with the laughs. Well, the effort is admirable, the movie not so much.
The leads are so lightweight and barely-there that a stiff breeze in the projection booth could make them disappear entirely.
Mary F. Pols,
The characters that Nicholls brought so cunningly to life in the book feel rushed through a timeline, tied to an agenda.
The film might make the book look less astute and interesting than it is, but it still has an undeniable emotional wallop by its close.
The New Republic:
One Day is just a gimmicky "new" way of doing an old-fashioned love story. But we'll hear much more of Sturgess, Hathaway, and Lone Scherfig.
Long before the credits roll, you may find yourself wishing your life could flash before your eyes, to end the monotony of this relentless turning of calendar pages.
Amid sharp banter, the film poignantly captures how lives meander and take unexpected turns.
On a moment-by-moment basis, Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess make this long-arc love story viable, sometimes even vital. But the structural conceit proves more reductive than expansive.
"Sense of humor is overrated," Emma says at one point, and while she means it ironically, the true irony is that One Day's sense of humor is sorely lacking.
Nicholls has proven a faithful shepherd to his fictional creations, who banter and rant at each other with the practiced elan of the aging couple they're clearly meant to be.