Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on June 2012

© 2011 Focus Features LLC. All Rights Reserved.

After almost but not quite hooking up upon graduating from Edinburgh University on July 15, 1988, middle-class, mousy-but-earnest Emma (Anne Hathaway doing a credible British accent) and upper-class, dashing-but-superficial Dexter (Jim Sturges, showing some range) go their separate ways. But as the years go by, the two sometimes accidentally, sometimes intentionally, remain in contact. The film checks on how they’re doing, separately or together, on July 15 of each year until 2011, and we watch how their lives are altered and their relationship changes. It’s clear they’re meant for each other, but they each have some maturing to do first. She struggles and eventually blooms; he flashes and then struggles. If you can get past that somewhat confining eponymous central narrative conceit in this film by Lone Scherfig, who gave us the brilliant An Education, you’ll find style, witty dialogue and a believable love story. Life rarely unfolds in the ways we’ve planned. Patricia Clarkson, Rafe Spall (Timothy’s kid) and Ken Scott add nice supporting work. I liked it a lot (though not everyone will); it got to me despite its flaws (platitudes, debatable sentiment). Call it an antidote to Nicholas Sparks.