An average romantic dramedy, "One Day" tips its hand so early in the game that you won't be a bit surprised by anything that ensues.
Anne Hathaway stars as Emma, who graduates from college the same day as Dex (Jim Sturgess, "Across the Universe"). That day happens to be July 15, 1988, (St. Swithin's Day, which is observed in England) and that's when we see the couple in succeeding years.
Their awkward beginning forms the basis for a lengthy friendship. He comes from an aristocratic family (mom is played by the always-enjoyable Patricia Clarkson), and he figures he's bound for something great. Emma, who lacks confidence, doesn't share his aspirations.
She ends up working in a Mexican restaurant, although she would rather be a writer. Dex becomes a late-night TV show host, hooked on cocaine and drink into which the fast lane has propelled him. Still, the two seek comfort in each other, particularly on July 15, during their annual meeting as best friends.
They encourage each other through bad choices in intimate partners and through good choices that steer their lives toward the better. They also help each other deal with losses. In other words, they continue to be in each others' lives as they mature and just plain grow up, taking responsibility for their lives and for teaching each other lessons.
Hathaway, as always, is gorgeous to watch. She always radiates a genuineness that is so engaging that you won't mind the fact her British accent isn't always on the mark. Sturgess is fine as Dex, who comes off more and more as a spoiled cad who doesn't think much about tomorrow or, for that matter, planning the next hour or so.
Some of this is fun to watch, particularly when the two are feeling romantic toward each other, although neither will confess the feelings they have. There is chemistry at work between these two nice-looking leads. And the European settings are as luminous as the two stars are striking, which makes for some beautiful, eye-catching moments.
But the movie, which occasionally moves back and forth in time, is so easy to predict that you may feel let down at the end.
It's not a bad movie. It's just not a particularly memorable one. If you want to see this theme played out in a way that will make you laugh and cry, watch the classic "Same Time, Next Year," with Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn. That is a movie to remember.