The Jess Lomas Book Club: One Day

The Jess Lomas Book Club: One Day

*A weekly feature in which literary connoisseur Jess Lomas examines the upcoming book-to-film adaptations worth keeping an eye on!*

In some circles it’s probably frowned upon to admit you’re actually looking forward to an Anne Hathaway film. From Bride Wars and Valentine’s Dayto her uninspiring turn as the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland and last year’s abysmal Love and Other Drugs, she has some ground to make up that’s for sure. But it’s her upcoming role as Emma Morley in the Lone Scherfig directed adaptation of David Nicholl’s bestselling novel One Day that has me counting the days until release.

One Day has been classified by many as Chick Lit; the type of book you can take to the beach or soak in the bathtub with (not that there’s anything wrong with a moderate diet of romance and happy endings, and at least it’s not Nicholas Sparks – yes I went there).

Spanning twenty years, the novel follows Dexter and Em who meet on the night of their college graduation. Every year on the anniversary of their meeting – hence the “one day”-  we see where they are in their lives and their friendship.

Starring as Dexter opposite Hathaway is British hunk Jim Sturgess, who hasn’t done much since his breakout role in Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe back in 2007. The newly released trailer for the film shows the great casting of these two characters with Hathaway and Sturgess really pulling off the 1980’s look above all other periods.

As is the case with movie trailers recently, an awful lot is given away about the plot, which if you’ve read the book shouldn’t be a problem. However, for those who haven’t and perhaps don’t intend to read the novel, I’d recommend avoiding these spoilers and skipping the trailer altogether.

One Day was a bit of a slog to get through, I’ll admit; Nicholls likes his detail – and at 437 pages there’s a lot of detail! However, considering the story spans twenty years it allows you the chance to really connect with his characters. Sure, you won’t knock this off as you would say, a Shopaholic novel (Confessions of a Shopaholic), but it’s a rewarding read.

As a fan of Nicholl’s previous novel Starter for Ten and the criminally under seen film adaptation starring James McAvoy, I’ve come to appreciate his writing style and the worlds he creates for his characters, commonly set in the 1980s. Nicholls wrote the screenplay for the One Day adaptation and teamed with An Education director Lone Scherfig, who adapted that film from a memoir by Lynn Barber and a screenplay by Nick Hornby. In some ways I think Nicholls is a poor man’s Hornby or, perhaps more fairly, the up and coming Hornby. Needless to say, if you enjoy Hornby’s writing you should give Nicholl’s work a go.

Many have called One Day a modern take on When Harry Met Sally and I suppose when you consider that WHMS is 22 years old this could be true. The difference will be that One Day is not a comedy – there will be no zinger lines like “I’ll have what she’s having” – but the fundamental question (“Can a man and a woman be just friends?”)  is similarly explored, especially when the man and the woman have such a connection as Dexter and Em do.

 Discuss: Keen to catch One Day?

One Response to “The Jess Lomas Book Club: One Day”

  1. While I’ll admit I am still looking forward to seeing the screen adaptation of One Day (as I have been since the project was announced with Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway), I was so frustrated and disappointed with the book overall. Built up over 20 years for THAT to happen in the end.

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