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Gretna Media

The Student News Site of Gretna High School

Gretna Media

“One Day,” Three Ways

Rom-Com Novel, Movie Adapted into TV Show
Mary Jane Kushiner
“One Day” by David Nichols, follows Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew on their journey as friends and soulmates over the course of nearly two decades. Released on Feb. 7 last month, it was made into a TV show on Netflix, with the series gaining attention as a beautiful rom-com.

When I look back on the book “One Day” by David Nicholls, I feel heartbreak. I felt that and frustration throughout the entire story in abundance and impossibly often. That being said, this might be one of my favorite love stories of all time, with the TV show being the best interpretation of it.

“One Day” follows friends Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew as they walk through nearly two decades of milestones and experiences. However, we only get to see their lives for twenty days, once a year on July 15th. From beginning to end, this story is overflowing with missed opportunities and what ifs, and its two main characters complement each other perfectly with Mayhew’s somewhat self-centered character being regularly humbled by Morley’s sarcastic personality.

As a book, it was incredibly easy to read for me. Some may find it slow, but I think the conversations between Morley and Mayhew were entertaining, realistic and purposeful. Most of them are full of teasing, and it’s truly the heart of the story.

Making a 448 page book into an hour and 48 minute movie was ambitious, and it did not pay off. When “One Day” was made into a film in 2011, many moments between Morley and Mayhew were lost, along with the best instances of their humor and friendship. The audience also received no information on Morley’s ambitions to make an impact on the world, or the year that Mayhew took in Asia to figure out what path he wanted to take.

Similar to other adaptations, the TV show, released on Feb. 7 this year, made it possible for more in-depth details to be included about the characters. Their emotions were put on display with enough time for it to be appropriately represented. I definitely felt what the characters were feeling in a deeper way than I did in the movie, and I think the music played a small role in that. I had never heard any of the songs before, but they set the tone for the scenes perfectly.

Nearly everything from the novel was included in the TV show, and it was satisfying to see scenes from the books come to life that weren’t included in the movie. I also loved the scene they added to the beginning of the first episode, and, while it wasn’t included in the book, it felt like a crucial part of their story. My personal favorite chapter of the novel is when Morley and Mayhew take a vacation to Greece in 1991. The show executed this chapter in their life incredibly. The movie was passive when including these memories.

I preferred the TV show’s version of Emma and Dexter compared to the movie’s. It wasn’t hard because Leo Woodall’s Mayhew was more convincing in his love for Morley, and it was obvious every time his gaze reached her. The actress that portrayed Morley, Ambika Mod, naturally had her sadistic, mocking attitude, a perfect match to the book.

The movie relied heavily on the main characters, with side characters getting one or two scenes max. The TV series allowed time for characters like Tilly, Emma’s college roommate, to provide added comedy to the show. Tilly, played by Amber Grappy, was hilarious in the first 25 minutes of the first episode, and the additional screen time of her character in later episodes was perfect.

In basically every aspect, the TV show was superior to the movie adaptation. It had a classic rom-com feeling that modern entertainment lacks, and every feeling was felt deeply with nothing being skimmed over.

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About the Contributor
Mary Jane Kushiner
Mary Jane Kushiner, Reporter
Mary Jane Kushiner is a sophomore at GHS and this is her first year with Gretna Media. She serves as a reporter. She is interested in journalism because she loves writing and reporting. Her favorite thing to write are feature stories. Besides being in journalism she likes to read and spend time outdoors. 

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