Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

    Netflix’s ‘One Day’ Series Is a Sexy, Gorgeous Gut Punch

    Ludovic Robert/Netflix

    It’s not often that a limited series adaptation actually improves on the film that inspired it, especially when the original starred the great Anne Hathaway. Somehow, however, Netflix’s One Day does just that, reimagining Lone Scherfig’s 2011 romance as a gorgeously shot 14-episode series starring I Hate Suzie Too actress Ambika Mod and The White Lotus scene stealer Leo Woodall. If the pair’s aching, simmering chemistry doesn’t reduce you to a puddle of tears, rest assured that the wrenching story certainly will.

    One Day started off as a bestselling novel by David Nicholls before Scherfig adapted it, and regardless of the medium, this is a story steeped in sentimentality. From its familiar, sweeping score to its stunning European locations, Netflix’s retread both embraces and enhances the allure of Scherfig’s 2011 adaptation. (Nicholls himself served as one of the executive producers on the series as well.) The expanded format also allows for deeper storytelling, making each relationship feel far more nuanced and each emotional beat just a little more impactful as a result.

    Things kick off in 1988, during grad night at the University of Edinburgh. Emma has harbored a huge crush on Dexter for years and said nothing, and although he won’t admit it, Dexter has been quietly watching her, too. Things heat up when the two find themselves back at Emma’s apartment, but as interested as both parties clearly are, they never get past the steamy kisses stage of their intended hookup. Instead, they doze off together and talk before hiking Arthur’s Seat the next morning. As the two lie at the top of the hill contemplating their futures, Dexter observes that it’s July 15, St. Swithin’s Day, which cues the story’s central narrative device: We will visit these two each year on the same day, observing how things have (and have not) changed.

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