It’s been a very relaxing weekend around here. With no set plans other than watching the Open Championship (my heart broke for Adam Scott, but congrats to Ernie Els), I was able to get a lot of reading and writing done, with a little movie watching thrown in for good measure.
I’ve had One Day in my possession for a while, and had read about 1/4 of it a few months back. I can’t remember why I took a hiatus, but it was just the break I needed because I came back to it so enthralled yesterday that I finished the other 3/4 and picked up the movie to watch last night.
In honor of both reading and watching, I thought I’d do a combined book and movie review. The glass of wine is an optional, but encouraged addition to your overall experience.
The structure of this book is very original. It begins on July 15, 1988, when Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley formally meet for the first time during their college graduation. The rest of the book is a snapshot of their relationship as it relates to this “one day,” July 15, over the course of 20 years. The reader witnesses Dexter and Emma grow up through their twenties, taking on various jobs and relationships that usually do not involve each other. They stay connected as friends, though their friendship will be tried and strained to its limits well into their thirties. Ultimately, this is a book about life’s journey and all the unexpected that comes with it – some good, some bad, some crazy. Read One Day if you enjoy books that can be humorous as well as serious, shallow as well as deep, frustrating as well as gratifying – this book really does have it all.
One of the things that caught my attention while reading was the fact that David Nicholls makes his characters so easy to relate to. Even though the book begins in 1988, Dexter and Emma faced many of the same challenges of today’s college graduates, from having larger than life dreams to facing cruel realities of a tough job market and, in some instances, realizing that what you thought you wanted to do is not really the right fit after all. It’s as much an emotional journey as it is physical as “Dex and Em” grow. Dexter is the handsome, wealthy and
slightly very immature guy that girls fawn over, while Emma is pretty and intelligent but refuses to believe it, often settling for less than what she’s capable of because of low self-esteem. She also has the added burden of being in love with Dexter, who loves her in his own way but is nowhere near ready for any sort of commitment.
All of the issues they deal with through the 90s and early 2000s could happen to any of us, which is what makes the book so timeless. That said, I also loved reading David Nicholls’ attention to detail for each specific year. Whether it was writing “old school” letters in the mail, getting their first cell phones or corresponding via email, the progression of technology, fashion, politics, etc. was well accounted for, and in many ways it felt like reliving my childhood years from an adult perspective.
There were some occasions when the character’s personalities were taken to the extreme, and they said and did things – or didn’t say and do things – that made me want to say, “Come on! Wake up, already!” But then again, that’s life sometimes – everyone else can see what’s happening but you. Dexter and Emma are both continuous works in progress but through it all, there is an undercurrent of support and genuine care for one another, even if they don’t always show it. The ending of the book surprised me a bit. Of course, I won’t go into detail here, but I’d be curious to hear opinions from other people who have read it.
Let me start off by saying that I love Anne Hathaway. A few people said her accent in the film isn’t good (“rubbish” was one term used in reference to it), but overall I thought her acting was great and she captured the character of Emma very well. She and Jim Sturgess, who plays Dexter, had strong chemistry on screen and I enjoyed watching them together. As is the case with any book-turned-movie, a lot of the details were missing. At certain points, I even felt as though it was jumping through time so quickly that if you hadn’t read the book, you would be very confused about what was going on. That said, I would definitely recommend it – but my advice would be to read first!
In addition to my One Day marathon, Bobby and I also had a lot of fun on Friday night playing glow golf with three of our friends. It was part of a charity event to benefit the Hadley School for the Blind, and the five of us – Bobby, me, Kelli, Lauren and Kyle – showed up in style.
What is glow golf, you ask? Only one of the coolest golfing experiences I’ve ever had! Once the sun sets, everyone cracks open their glow stick necklaces and picks out a colorful golf ball, which lights up when it hits a hard surface (such as a club). The entire par-3 course was lit up like an airplane runway from tee box to fairway to green, and we had an amazing time. We ended up scoring 29 through a scramble, which is just two over par! Great shots were hit by all and even though we weren’t the lowest in the clubhouse, we had a glowin’ good time.
I hope to play glow golf again. It was a fantastic way to spend a summer evening. Thanks, Kelli!
Hope you’ve all had a great weekend. Hard to believe we’re entering the last week of July…
Have you read One Day or seen the movie? If so, what did you think?