One Day review, 20 years one day at a time

Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall in One Day

One Day was a movie not long ago. Now the famous book by David Nicholls has been reworked again into a 14 episode series. Two people who meet at university form a relationship that lasts a lifetime. It’s examined each year on a particular day covering the time span from 1988 to 2007.

One Day features Dexter (Leo Woodall) and Emma (Ambika Mod). They meet on the night they graduate from university. They spend the night together and agree to be friends, not lovers. They exchange information and promise to keep in touch.

We watch how that relationship grows and changes over the years by dropping in on their lives on the same day in July for 20 years. Sometimes they are together, sometimes not. They didn’t only interact one day per year. We just stop in to check on them one day a year.

Ambika Mod in One Day

Sometimes Emma is with her friend Tilly (Amber Grappy). For a while she lived with a guy named Ian (Jonny Weldon). She wanted to be a writer. Before she got to that goal, she worked in a theater company and taught English.

Dexter took Emma to meet his parents, Stephen (Tim McInnerny) and Alison (Essie Davis). We saw them together several times. Oddly we never saw Emma’s parents although she talked about them with affection.

Leo Woodall in One Day

Dexter was rich and good looking. He was charming. His life was aimless and unfocused. Dexter developed drug and alcohol problems that put a rift in the friendship with Emma for a while. He married Sylvie (Eleanor Tomlinson) and had a daughter.

The relationship was interesting to watch. The two actors had great chemistry. They were good at poking fun at each other and at having serious arguments. I kept rooting for them to get together – they obviously loved each other. But friendship made sense for them for a long time and is probably what kept their relationship alive for so long. Sometimes having a best friend you can talk to is just what you need.

It wasn’t easy. There was sadness, difficulty, tragic loss. There was joy and laughter, too. The ending may make you weepy, or possibly fill you with hope.

This Netflix series has 14 episodes, but they are all close to the 30 minute range. I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know how well the series represents the original story. Molly Manners and Kate Hewitt directed 7 of the 14 episodes.

I was engaged in the story throughout but wouldn’t classify it as brilliant. Quite good, but not brilliant.

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