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Heads Up: One Day

4-hour weepie people – the film of the hit-lit romance

Holly Williams
Sunday 17 July 2011 00:00 BST

What are we talking about?

A film adaptation of David Nicholls' wildly popular novel, One Day, which revisits two people on the anniversary of the day they met, each year, for 20 years.

Elevator Pitch

Twenty years, two people, one literary phenomenon – and one big-screen version.

Prime Movers

David Nicholls has also penned the screenplay. Lone Scherfig, whose An Education was so well received in 2009, is directing.

The Stars

Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) plays Emma Morley, and Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe, The Way Back) is Dexter Mayhew. Patricia Clarkson plays Dex's mum, while various up-and-coming Brit actresses make up the supporting cast: Jodie Whittaker, Romola Garai, Georgia King, Amanda Fairbank-Hynes...

The Early Buzz

The casting is controversial, with the choice of American Hathaway in particular being met with howls of anguish – so much so that the Daily Mail published a whole article on the dismay: "Fans are particularly worried that Hollywood beauty Anne Hathaway has been cast...The 28-year-old is, they say, too attractive and glamorous to play an awkward, working-class Yorkshire girl who ekes out a living as a fast-food waitress and a teacher in an inner-city comprehensive." Bibi van der Zee joined in, writing in The Guardian: "Hathaway is, to be blunt, the anti-Emma. So it can't be done, I'm afraid, unless she is about to reveal hitherto unhinted at Streep-like talents for transformation."

Insider Knowledge

Nicholls, no stranger to adapting work for the screen (he also wrote the screenplay for the film of his own novel Starter for 10 and for And When Did You Last See Your Father?), is apparently happy to make book-to-film changes, including, predictably, toning down references to Dexter's drug use.

It's great that...

Scherfig is at the helm: although the Danish Dogme director might not seem an obvious choice, she proved in An Education that she has a keen eye for capturing a certain era, and should manage the moves from 80s studentdom to 90s media circus London to an early noughties middle-class milieu nicely.

It's a shame that...

Hathaway, to judge by the trailer, has struggled to master the English accent.

Hit Potential

The book's popularity may boost box office takings...or keep devotees warily away.

The Details

One Day is released 24 August.

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