Why ‘One Day’ Is The Most Toxic Romance of the Year

Adapted from David Nicholls‘ heralded novel, director Lone Scherfig’s drama One Day aims to lure women in with a crush-worthy leading man Jim Sturgess, the cute but non-threatening romantic hero of Across the Universe, and a modern chick flick mega-star Anne Hathaway. Couple the casting with the sentimental trailer, passion-filled promotional poster and a PG-13 rating, and it’s clear that Scherfig and the film’s producers are gunning for a female audience that includes a large contingent of young and impressionable girls. This makes the film’s message of a woman’s worth all the more infuriating. To be succinct, through this story of frequently near-miss lovers, Scherfig seems to declare a woman’s purpose in life is to better the man she loves after sufficiently making herself worthy of his notice. It’s a demoralizing message that curiously devalues both men and women. And so I don’t come here to review One Day; I come here to eviscerate it.

Note: below I detail plot points, specific visual signifiers (particularly costuming choices) and dialogue in order to discuss the film’s overall themes. As such, there are heavy spoilers ahead. Furthermore, as a firm believer that a film adaptation of any kind should be able to stand up on its own, I will solely be discussing the film One Day, without further reference to the novel. Here “but that’s how it is in the book” will not serve as a valid excuse.

She made you decent and in return you made her so happyCollapse )