Released 8/19/2011 Rated: PG-13
I wanted to see this when it came out, and then I just never got around to it. Nine times out of ten (and I can’t think of any examples so it might actually be ten times out of ten) I don’t end up seeing dramas at the theater; especially if I’m by myself. It’s kind of exhausting in a way. You have to be in the mood, and sometimes you even need a pick-me-up afterwards. It can be hard to tell which ones are going to take a lot out of you.
A lot of people liked it, and a lot more didn’t, including most critics. The only negative comment on the film I will agree with is that Anne Hathaway’s accent is a little all over the place, but I’m no expert on accents and if I hadn’t heard that note beforehand I probably wouldn’t have paid that close attention. This isn’t a bad movie, but it is very real. So if you’re looking for your typical run-of-the-mill fairytale romance with the Hollywood ending I suggest you find your favorite and watch that instead.
I haven’t read the book, but the premise of the movie was interesting enough: we only see one day, the same day, a year spanning about two decades. My only concern with doing that is that you almost have to meet the characters anew with each jump; a needless worry, for they pulled it off very well. At first it was a little jarring, but once I got into the groove of things the transitions were seamless. I was also a little worried about the “show, don’t tell” rule, but they did a great job with that too, and it’s part of what makes this movie so good. They don’t tell us Dex has a problem with drugs and alcohol, we see him exhausted and strung out in the morning before visiting his parents after a night of intense partying; likewise with jumping ahead a year to find Emma dejectedly reciting the differences in the Mexican dishes all in one go without the customer even having to finish his inquiry about the menu to show us that she is stuck in a dead end job instead of advancing in her writing career as was her plan.
This movie was different than I thought it was going to be. This isn’t your typical linear run of a story, not that there’s really any work involved in watching it. At times there seems to be more heartbreak than not, but if you’re willing to spend the emotions, give it a shot.