Select Page

One Day Movie Is A Gen-X Romance Tragedy

One Day Movie Poster with Anne Hathaway

One Day Movie Poster with Anne Hathaway

The Movie, Book One Day

I watched a movie last night, One Day with Anne Hathaway, that kept me awake all night. Literally, I tossed and turned and never went to sleep. The film (released to DVD back in November 2011) is David Nicholl’s story of Emma and Dexter, who meet on the day they graduate from Edinburgh University, July 15, 1988. For the next 18 years, we see Emma and Dexter’s lives unfold through events that take place each July 15. As one blogger, Matthew Porter writes, we see them

“…Full of hope and expectation that they can change the world, they struggle with shallow relationships, failing careers, and frustrated expectations, until they finally reach some kind of peace and sense of purpose, partly through the eventual realisation that it’s their friendship that’s the best basis for love and contentment, which they briefly share before tragedy hits.”

90s Fashion: Floral Dresses and Short Black Boots

Anne Hathaway one day denim jacket dress short boots

I was strangely drawn to this story. But, maybe it’s not so strange at all. I was in college in 1988, and Emma and Dexter are members of Generation X. Eery Gen X girl sported Emma’s floral dress with a jean jacket and short black boots. And, who can’t relate to her post-college career woes? The only job Emma can find after graduation is waiting tables at a Mexican restaurant. Like Janeane Garafalo’s character Vickie in Reality Bites, Emma is eventually offered a management position. (Vickie worked at The Gap.)


The year 1988 was one of the most influential years of my life. I’m sure that’s part of the reason why I tossed and turned all night. I was remembering various scenes from the movie and contrasting them to less passionate, less compelling scenes from my life during the same time frame. I especially examined one of the last few scenes of the film that totally surprised me. It was Dexter’s flashback to the year it all began, 1988. The entire foundation of the movie rests on the reality of this scene, and I never even saw it coming.

One Day Book by David Nicholls

One Day Book by David Nicholls

A Movie for 40-Something Women

Although One Day received mixed reviews, I think it is an important coming-of-middle-age movie for Generation X and 40-something women. For some, it will serve as an invitation to forgive yourself for the indecision and recklessness of youth. For others, it is an invitation to maybe mourn the wild ride or courageous journey never taken.

Back in the 1990s when I worked in military public affairs, my father used to say, “Jenni, when are you going to get busy writing?” It used to make me so mad. I’d say, I am writing Dad, for the Air Force. He wasn’t impressed by the retirement story of a two-star general or a feature story on industrial sludge vitrified into kitchen countertops.

Vitrified, Dad. It’s so cool…

Twenty years later, I’m still dealing with the same struggles I dealt with in my twenties: grinding down to the ether vs. putting myself on exhibition. One Day cost me a night’s sleep. It left me pondering chances as a writer I have not taken as well as the passion and purpose I divorced myself from long ago in an effort to make a decent living.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

Thank you for subscribing. Posts are delivered ONCE A WEEK on Sundays at 6 p.m. You can unsubscribe anytime with one click. Also, we will not share your email address with anyone.

Share Your Thoughts

Pin It on Pinterest