Director: Lone Scherfig
Cast: Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess
Released: August 19, 2011
Viewed in theaters: September 1, 2011
I saw this movie with my mom and we had both read the book by David Nicholls. We both agreed that if we had not read the book, we would have been a little lost.
Before I go into my review, let me tell you about our audience. My mom and I were the first ones in the theater and more people came in right before the film started. Four older ladies sat right in front of us, a couple sat in the same row as us, and two people sat right behind us. The theater wasn't that small - there was plenty of room to spread out! Not only that, but the four ladies sitting in front of us TALKED THROUGH THE ENTIRE MOVIE! Ugh, it was really irritating. I kept hearing one of them ask the other something and felt like saying "Well, if you just watch the movie and STOP TALKING then maybe you'll know what's going on!" Of course they probably hadn't read the book.
The movie is about Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter (Jim Sturgess) who start a relationship of sorts the last day of their college graduation, which is July 15, 1988. They're only friends at first, but there's the hint that they could be something more. We see their relationship evolve each year on July 15 for the next twenty years. Well, it's supposed to be twenty years. In the book, the first chapter starts in 1988 and the last one starts in 2007. The tag line on the poster reads "Two people, twenty years, one day". Well, the only thing thing is that while the movie starts in 1988, it ends in 2011! I can understand that they want to be current, but that drove me a little crazy because they're LYING on the poster! 1988 - 2011 does NOT equal twenty years! They should have have re-worded the tag to "Two people, twenty-plus years, one day".
Each time they want to establish it's a new year in the movie, they do a clever way of placing the year on the screen. I remember one was written on a wall and another is written on a computer screen. It kind of reminded me of the clever ways Heroes used to show its titles. (Loved season 1 of that show, but it just wasn't the same after that!) Some of the years go by pretty fast. While you may get a good twenty pages for each year in the book, in the film, you might only get five (or less!) minutes. Obviously in the book, Emma and Dexter are more fleshed out.
One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Dexter is having dinner with his girlfriend's (not Emma) family and they're very rich and snooty and she has younger twin brothers who are being little snots. They play a parlor game called "Are You There, Moriarty?" and if I had seen the movie without reading the book, I would have been very confused. The book explains the parlor game and it's a lot funnier when he accidently injures his girlfriend. Her twin brothers are also a lot funnier (and snottier!) in the book.
It was fun to see the fashion and technology and hear the music for each year. That was one of the things that the book couldn't really show.
Word of advice: you might want to bring tissues with you to the theater. I won't say that you'll cry happy tears or sad tears because I don't want to spoil anything.
It was a nice movie, but the book is better. I would advise to read the book first, then rent the movie when it's on DVD.