Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Film Reviews: One Day and Friends with Benefits

"Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well.Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance" - One Day

Review of the Film: One Day...

I can review a poor attempt at an English accent courtesy of Anne Hathaway, her hideous glasses, or how a rather young Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess), like a fine wine, gets better looking with age... . alternatively, if you chose to see past this, here within lies a wonderful story.

A story of friendship, growing up, regrets, disillusionment and how cruel life can truly be.

I don’t believe in fairytales... and if you haven’t read the novel, don’t be disillusioned by the trailer, for One Day is no fairytale.

Graduation day, for young graduates, symbolizes new beginnings, and for most is the dawning of the rest of your life. It is on this day that the unlikely pair, the shy nerdy Emma Morley and the self confident ‘big man on campus’ (we all know one!) Dexter Mayhew embark upon a friendship after spending the night together.

The movie captures One Day every year, July 15th, from 1989 onwards.... some years they spend together, others apart. Two very different people, two very different lives, two stories that would one day (pardon the pun!) merge together.

The evolution from an ambitious young graduate to a bestselling novelist was by no means easy for Emma, spending her first few years as a graduate in London working in a Tex Mex restaurant, before becoming romantically involved with a fellow waiter (an aspiring Comedian....who failed to possess any comedic gene whatsoever, with the exception of his appearance!), embarking on a teaching career, all whilst living in a dingy flat. She fulfils her dream of becoming a bestselling novelist and moves to Paris, where she meets a jazz musician.

Dexter, with a name like that, we can sense he had a rather privileged upbringing. His affluent background affords him a life of travel following graduation, subsequent to which he lands a gig as a TV Presenter, and enjoys all the perks his five minutes of fame offer; the girls, the booze, the plush apartment. Like most, he loses himself along the way and Emma doesn’t shy away from pointing it out.

‘I love you Dexter. I just don’t like you anymore’

Emma walks away from him and it isn’t until a mutual college friends’ wedding that their paths cross again where Dexter’s fiancĂ© is expecting a child.
Yet one failed marriage later, Dexter and Emma finally confront their relationship in Paris after all those years (Losing count at this stage...)! But just when you think they’ve gotten their happily ever after, the random cruelty that is life interrupts their future plans...... leaving a void in the lives of one of our main characters.

It’s not academy award worthy, it’s not a box office smash, and it certainly is not a fairytale...for after all, who truly gets their happily ever after?! Nonetheless, I recommend you see it!

My reasoning... Well it serves as a simple reminder that life from the moment we graduate is ours... it may not necessarily be what we’d planned, and realistically we probably won’t change the world as our professors once said we would, it’s an eye opener to the struggles life can throw in your direction, a gentle reminder of how cruel life can sometimes be, but it also reminds you -

‘Better by far to be good and courageous and bold and to make difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance’.

86400 seconds, 1440 minutes, 24 hours.... July 15th... no matter how you quantify it.... it was just One Day!

‘Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today, I’ll always remember that’.

Now to review the film: Friends with Benefits

Unlike One Day, Friends with Benefits is a fairytale... well, a guy’s fairytale!!

No hidden message, no thought provoking plot, no depth, quite simply, no brain required for 1hr 44 mins.... just Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis and a self explanatory title....and well, that's it! Enjoy!!

13 September 2011