Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 41
  2. Negative: 4 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Aug 18, 2011
    100
    One Day is a beautiful movie, but beautiful in a way that life often is, not movies. Nothing is sudden or easy, either for the characters or for the audience, and there are no thunderbolts from the blue.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 18, 2011
    88
    One Day is an aching lovely romance, but it's also an insightful look at human potential and the search for a purposeful existence.
  3. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Aug 18, 2011
    75
    Director Lone Scherfig (An Education) doesn't have such luxury, but she infuses her snapshots of their relationship with humor and poignancy.
  4. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Aug 18, 2011
    75
    The two actors are at their best when Emma and Dexter get emotionally naked. It's mildly enjoyable to listen to the self-deprecating banter people use to conceal anxieties, but we connect to them most deeply when they bare their souls.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 17, 2011
    75
    In a season of movies dumb and dumber, One Day has style, freshness, and witty bantering dialogue.
  6. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Aug 17, 2011
    70
    Danish director Lone Scherfig skillfully adapts David Nicholls' best-selling romantic novel to the screen.
  7. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Aug 20, 2011
    67
    One Day, despite its attractiveness, never manages to find a way to bring the conceit fully to life.
  8. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Aug 18, 2011
    67
    Sturgess, saddled with a caddish character, is less compelling, but he does provide the film's only spot of unloosed, raw emotion. Everything else feels too precisely and too compactly assembled for much impact.
  9. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 17, 2011
    67
    Anne Hathaway's faux British accent might be the first obvious conceit in One Day, but not its most cumbersome. That distinction belongs to the eponymous structure, a claustrophobic device that follows a pair of best friends over the course of a 22-year period, but only on many versions of July 15th.
  10. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Aug 20, 2011
    63
    The effort is admirable, the movie not so much, and yet, contrary to most pictures, it does improve towards the end. At least a little.
  11. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 19, 2011
    63
    A movie that wants to be a crowd-pleasing romantic comedy at times and a weighty drama at others. It ends up being an imperfect blend of both.
  12. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Aug 18, 2011
    63
    One Day often seems too tame for its own good, as if its spirited protagonists were censoring themselves in deference to a PG-13 rating.
  13. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Aug 14, 2011
    63
    One Day conveys a real sense of the poignancy of individual lives unfolding over time, but the film's ultimate embrace of conventionality ultimately undercuts the not inconsiderable accomplishments the project had worked so hard to achieve.
  14. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Aug 22, 2011
    60
    It may not truly capture the complexities of its source material but One Day is funny, winning and entertaining - if little else.
  15. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Aug 18, 2011
    60
    One Day ends up fatally compromised by its glib recourse to death and cancer as moral wake-up calls.
  16. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Aug 17, 2011
    60
    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, the big picture too overdetermined to really sweep the viewer away.
  17. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Aug 19, 2011
    55
    We need to wait nearly 20 years for the romance in Lone Scherfig's One Day to get cooking, and for long stretches it seems as if we're watching this particular pair of nonstarters hem and haw in real time.
  18. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Aug 19, 2011
    50
    One Day fails to make us care about the young couple at its center.
  19. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Aug 19, 2011
    50
    I might be able to get past that if Hathaway and Sturgess had any chemistry. There are no sparks whatsoever, and that's always a deal-breaker for me in romantic films.
  20. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 18, 2011
    50
    Her (Ms. Scherfig) eccentric eye and offbeat rhythm sustain One Day through its stretches of banality and mitigate some of its flaws.
  21. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Aug 18, 2011
    50
    Even in the skillful hands of director Lone Scherfig, the effect is disjointed. The characters that Nicholls brought so cunningly to life in the book feel rushed through a timeline, tied to an agenda.
  22. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Aug 18, 2011
    50
    As in "An Education," Scherfig's settings are unshowy, imparting period flavor without overwhelming what is, ultimately, an underwhelming film.
  23. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Aug 18, 2011
    50
    Watchable but not very gripping. Patricia Clarkson does her best with an underwritten part as the young man's terminally ill mother, and British actor Ken Stott is excellent as the grieving husband she leaves behind.
  24. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 18, 2011
    50
    What proved tasty in book form comes across a little more like work in the movie.
  25. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Aug 17, 2011
    50
    The ultimate end of the story reveals that it's all about Sturgess' suffering, which just isn't that compelling a topic. Given its lack of center and balance, the film might more appropriately be called "One Dude."
  26. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Aug 17, 2011
    50
    This episodic romance works in fits and starts, and captures a bittersweet faux British turn by Anne Hathaway, plainly mismatched in being paired with real-life Brit Jim Sturgess.
  27. Reviewed by: Una LaMarche
    Aug 17, 2011
    50
    It's a sweet, harmless, meandering tale with an engaging gimmick, but a great love story - or a great movie - it's not.
  28. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 17, 2011
    50
    Some ideas simply work better on book pages, rather than on film where illogic is exposed.
  29. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Aug 16, 2011
    50
    For an entry in a genre of films that frequently work as guilty pleasures even at their most formulaic, One Day doesn't offer much pleasure.
  30. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 19, 2011
    42
    The problem with this year-by-year structure is that the slow crawl to the end can seem agonizing if the film isn't engaging. And One Day, despite strenuous attempts by all involved to make us laugh, cry, and laugh-cry, is more likely to induce winces. We've seen it all before – and better.
  31. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Aug 17, 2011
    42
    A drippy, uninvolving movie adaptation.
  32. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Aug 22, 2011
    40
    In short, this popular love story isn't much of a story, and falls badly short on love.
  33. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 19, 2011
    40
    Now CDL aficionados have One Day, though it is a tedious addition to this subspecies of rom-com, despite Anne Hathaway's efforts to make us fall for her regardless of the setting.
  34. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Aug 18, 2011
    40
    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.
  35. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Aug 18, 2011
    40
    In this frustrating fizzle, the friendship does keep struggling to change into a love affair. But year after year, July 15 after July 15, it's the same old same old - two increasingly tedious people talking self-conscious talk.
  36. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Aug 17, 2011
    40
    That all sours by the time of the film's "shocking" climax, which is so hilariously telegraphed, it plays like a Benny Hill gag rather than a tear-duct stoker.
  37. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Aug 17, 2011
    40
    The idea of dropping in on characters at different points in their lives can work - see "Same Time, Next Year" for how it should be done. Here, it simply puts a distance between the audience and two characters that aren't that interesting to start with.
  38. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 18, 2011
    30
    You could definitely call it awful, and I'm about to do so, repeatedly and effusively. In fact, One Day is an appallingly bad movie made by talented people who could and should have done much better, but somehow all drove off the cliff together.
  39. Reviewed by: Pam Grady
    Aug 17, 2011
    30
    The dismal reality is that this romantic drama is a disaster, a dour "When Harry Meets Sally" that tries to jerk tears out of the story of a man and a woman who go from friends to lovers.
  40. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Aug 18, 2011
    25
    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.
  41. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 18, 2011
    12
    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.
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 22
  2. Negative: 5 out of 22
  1. Sep 1, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Does life imitate art or does art imitate life? I'm one who tends to avoid the discussion entirely by saying "both." One Day is the most real (save a few accents) movie I've seen in a long time. It explores time and how it often slips away from us. Our hearts' desires are often decimated by bad timing, and the movie finds a variety of ways to demonstrate this. So in the case of One Day, art imitates life to the fullest, as we can all sympathize (if only a little) to crushed hopes and shattered dreams, though hopefully we eventually find our way.
    Anne Hathaway stars as insecure working-class woman Emma, who, for one reason or another is drawn to Dexter, (Jim Sturgess) a charming upper middle class man with a great amount of self-confidence. It may be hard to understand just what the two have on each other, but they are characters I'm familiar with. The woman who is way too into a man that
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 30, 2011
    10
    This movie is inherently tragic. Both protagonists are searching happiness and fulfillment, but cannot find it. Meanwhile, life goes on. IThis movie is inherently tragic. Both protagonists are searching happiness and fulfillment, but cannot find it. Meanwhile, life goes on. I sometimes ask people if their lives look like they had imagined it twenty years ago, and pretty much everyone chokes. This is exactly what this movie does, it makes you choke. I can think of only one remedy: increase the level of energy necessary to make your dreams come true, never ever give up, and screw everything else. Full Review »
  3. Aug 29, 2011
    10
    One Day is a beautiful movie, but beautiful in a way that life often is, not movies. Nothing is sudden or easy, either for the characters orOne Day is a beautiful movie, but beautiful in a way that life often is, not movies. Nothing is sudden or easy, either for the characters or for the audience, and there are no thunderbolts from the blue. Full Review »