I have a confession to make. I didn’t like The Notebook. I know, it’s almost like I lose some serious girl-cred to even say that. Because women in general seem to think it’s some amazing, beautiful story of sap-I-mean-romance. I, on the other hand, have no intention to ever watch it again.
Oh wait, I feel like I just did.
Because the Anne Hathaway currently-on-Netflix movie One Day is practically the same sappy, sexually messed up story, wrapped up in a recurring-day-every-year gimmick.
There’s this nerdy girl, who meets this studly guy she’s had a crush on, as they graduate from college in England.
So we’ve got accents, a romantic setup…
And then they go home together, rather drunk, to have sex. She messes it up with her awkwardness, and they decide to remain friends.
And the whole rest of the movie is continual revisits of them, on the same particular day each year, as they get closer, drift apart, have sex with a ton of other people, pine for each other, get disgusted with each other, and have legitimate relationships with other people that we know are destined to fail (including a marriage – because we really need to see more marital breakdown in movies…).
Gee, except for the particular day of the year thing, that sounds kind of familiar, yes?
Oh, and there’s eve a maudlin death scene involved too!
Let me be annoyingly analytical for a moment…
This is not how healthy, or even semi-healthy relationships work.
I really don’t see two people of opposite genders beginning a friendship after nearly having sex, first off. How in the world would you come back from that? In a way, they never do. But how do they spend years and years carrying on in a non-romantic way, after beginning their acquaintance in such an intimate way?
I do believe that it’s possible for men and women to be friends with no romance involved, but this I-secretly-love-him-but-sometimes-we-hate-each-other crap? In real life, you either move on and forget about this person, or you go all in. If there’s an in-between, will-we/won’t-we period, it does not drag on for years.
Or maybe, maybe, in some extreme cases of commitment-phobia, this phase could drag on for years. You know what we call that? Misery. Not romance, and certainly not entertainment.
What’s the point?
The point is, it’s fashioned as some epic, moving love story that’s supposed to take us away and make us go, “Awe!” and appeal to our emotionally needy female instincts. Just like The Notebook.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good chick flick. But I put the emphasis on good.
Good is not a back and forth, sexually flippant, unrealistic story where the girl keeps pining for no good reason and the guy can’t pull his head out long enough to see what he’s missing. Good is not a story where one of the two people actually gets married to another person, and we’re still supposed to root for him to get together with his long-time “friend.”
Spoiler: By the time these two actually get together, she’s too old to have kids! That is literally a plot point. Maybe you guys shouldn’t have squandered eighteen years trying to decide whether you loved each other enough to make the kind of commitment that normal people discern after like a tenth of that time (or less!).
What is this movie good for?
Wasting nearly two hours of your life, for one.
For another, as a cautionary tale. Do not put off getting together with the person you love for nearly two decades. That’s a good life lesson right there.