A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although the movie's overall message is that friendship and love endure when you put in the effort (and that you should figure out who you want to be and what you want to do and commit to those goals), there's a troublesome subtext to Dex and Em's relationship that implies that if girls are just patient with a guy they like who's treating them poorly, someday he'll come around.
Positive Role Models
Emma is more of a positive role model than Dex -- she's earnest and caring, albeit self-conscious and not particularly self-confident (and even she is sometimes cruel to those who care for her). And though Dex has his share of issues (womanizing, drinking, etc.), he softens around her; he wants to be his best for her -- at least most of the time. They clearly care about each other, and they support each other through various challenges, but they're not always nice to each other. Still, they try to understand each other. It's an uneven, though often admirable, friendship, and it's also fairly honest.
Violence & Scariness
Dex is beaten up by a guy at a bar when he hassles the guy's girlfriend. Some yelling between two people who are arguing in a restaurant. A brutal, sudden accident has tragic consequences.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief full nudity, including shots of a woman from the back/side as she struts in front of a man who's sitting on a bed under the sheets, and a man jumping into the water to skinny dip (viewers see his full length from a distance). Visitors to a nudist beach are also shown naked. A woman strips to her underwear and later takes off her bra and everything else (we don't see her fully naked). Discussions about group sex and sex toys and one character’s promiscuity. A married woman has an affair.
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Language is infrequent but includes "f--k," "bastard," "prick," "damn," "hell," "oh God" (as an exclamation), and more.
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Products & Purchases
Calvin Klein and Armani are name-dropped by a character who appears to value labels and wears them as a badge of honor.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Dexter falls into a drunken haze that lasts years, during which he behaves badly toward those he loves, including his best friend, Emma. A handful of scenes show him inebriated or going on a bender, both with alcohol and, at least once, with cocaine. Additional social drinking; characters are shown swigging wine from a bottle and taking shots.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie based on the beloved novel by Davis Nicholls is an honest examination of the years-long friendship between two people (played by Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess) who are attracted to each other but unable, at least at first, to recognize their significance to each other. Although it's rated PG-13, the movie deals with mature topics like infidelity, alcoholism, and death. There's quite a bit of sexual content (including brief full nudity), and one of the main characters spends a large part of the movie in a drunken haze. Although the themes may well be relatable for older teens, younger viewers might not appreciate the enormity of the highs and lows of the characters' friendship -- and the realistic depiction of the damage people can inflict even to those they love most. And some teen girls might come away with the idea that if you just wait long enough, the guy you like is sure to come around. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Unlike David Nicholls' book, this movie adaptation isn't a romance for the ages, sadly. Following in the footsteps of a beloved book is always challenging; how to infuse the cinematic version with the nuance and vision it deserves? The once-a-year check-in that gives the novel structure hampers the momentum here, and the chemistry between Hathaway and Sturgess comes and goes -- a crucial flaw in a movie like this.
That's not to say that One Day is a failure; it has enough charm and commitment to power it through. The dialogue, written by Nicholls, feels authentic and is often funny, and the actors are eager to inhabit their characters. And then there's the story -- it's still compelling, relatable, and moving (clunky surprise ending notwithstanding).
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.