One Day by Nicole Taylor [8/10]

Not a rom-com fan at all, I went nowhere near David Nicholls’s bestselling novel in 2009, so when my wife persuaded me to try the new fourteen-episode series, One Day, my sights were set low. Surprise, surprise, then, when Nicole Taylor’s script and team leadership, guided by Nicholls himself, leap straight into a wonderful, kinetic, soppy-but-truthful adaptation. One Day bends to the book’s original conceit, of framing a tale of love between a posh slacker (of course with a heart of gold), Dexter, and a studious British-Indian girl, Emma, in terms of their recountings on the same day each year (July 21) over two decades. Keeping the episodes pithy, often under thirty minutes, adds to the impact. Much of the romance, in line with the genre’s conventions, is unrequited, all of it feels just right even as it tugs the heart strings. Ambika Mod soars as Em, Leo Woodall is pitch perfect as Dex. The supporting actors all rock, especially Jonny Weldon as Emma’s geeky one-time husband. The scripted dialogue is sharply honed and the found music matches each era splendidly. All up, One Day gives romantic comedy a gloss of sophisticated, impactful paint.

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