Clooney and Pfeiffer Have One Hell of a Day
You've seen one romantic comedy, you've seen them all or at least it often feels that way as the majority tend to work through some sort of play book of ideas, characters and romantic scenes. "One Fine Day" starring George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer is by no means any different, working through a list of must haves from attractive leads, to cute kids, button pushing scenes and most annoyingly a truly predictable plot. But whilst generically predictable, "One Fine Day" has one saving grace, that being that the story takes place in the course of just one day and so gives it a bit more pace than your average often drawn out rom-com.
When their kids miss the boat for a school trip, single parents Melanie Parker (Michelle Pfeiffer - Dangerous Minds), a career minded architect, and Jack Taylor (George Clooney - Burn After Reading), a laid back tabloid journalist, are forced to join forces despite initially loathing each other. With both facing a catastrophe at work, they take it in turns to child mind and as the day progresses their initial frostiness melts and a surprising romance starts to blossom.
The main storyline to "One Fine Day" is nothing more than your predictable man meets woman, they initially detest each other but over time they realize that their initial misconceptions of who each other are dissolves to allow for a completely predictable yet unlikely romance. But whilst this may be the underlying theme most of the enjoyment comes from watching the slightly exaggerated issues that each of them suffer when they take it in turns to look after the children. Scenes such as when Melanie's son gets a marble stuck up his nose, or when Jack's daughter goes walking off to play with some cute kittens and my favourite which sees Melanie manage to dress up the two children as super heroes with just the contents of the bag really do bring a smile to your face. But to be honest, after a while these sorts of scenes tend to become tiresome because as soon as one crisis is over another one starts, which although slightly realistic I doubt that any parent would go through the amount of problems that these two encounter in just one day.
Where "One Fine Day" is a bit hit and miss is in the romance stakes, as whilst the initial loathing of each other is handled brilliantly and their arguing is actually very funny the actual romance seems to have been over looked and whilst you can definitely see their attitudes to each other change over the duration of the movie it never really culminates in a satisfactory romantic climax. Maybe the writers were trying to be clever by attempting to demonstrate that two single parents don't have any proper time for real romance, but whatever the reason "One Fine Day" is seriously let down by this lack of romance.
Where "One Fine Day" does score high marks is by making all this happen in just one day. Although at times the events and issues are exaggerated, this time frame really does make the movie zip along at a real good pace not allowing you time to realize how preposterous some of the set ups really are. The other area where it manages to score higher than many others in the same genre is within the dialogue. The majority of the dialogue is surprisingly original and only on a couple of occasions it felt like it was falling into the trap of becoming cliche and obviously button pushing with the use of totally over the top and out of place speeches.
As already mentioned, it does follow the typical route of having two strong leads those being George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer, which in the case of "One Fine Day" is a very good thing. I strongly doubt that lesser known actors would have gained the same empathy from the audience as George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer manage. Whilst I may not be a huge fan of George Clooney I have to admit that he is pretty good as Jack Taylor the laid back tabloid hack, who is also a bit of a womanizer. His cheeky smiles and easy going charm works brilliantly as a contrast to Michelle Pfeiffer's character who appears to be more uptight and career focused. Of course putting Pfeiffer and Clooney in a movie is going to appease both male and female audiences alike and the quick fire repartee between them is definitely one of the highlights of the movie. But due to the script writers choosing to rush the romantic element we never get a true glimpse of any real sexual chemistry.
Add to the mix two cute kids; those being Maggie Taylor played by Mae Whitman and Sammy Parker played by Alex D. Linz and you have a nice set of characters. Amazingly the onscreen bickering between Sammy and Maggie works just as well as that of their parents and of course when they introduce the little kittens it is enough to push anyone's buttons in the cutesy stakes.
But, whilst everything so far has been reasonably positive, "One Fine Day" does have a huge problem and that is when it comes to who it will really appeal to. To be honest watching two thirty something's struggle to look after their children is not going to be an ideal date night movie for your young lovers and not something which will necessarily appeal to anyone who has not suffered the headache of looking after young children. So to be honest it does seem to have quite a limited appeal to those in their thirties and have kids who can appreciate the stresses as shown in "One Fine Day".
What this all boils down to is that despite the formulaic approach and some obvious button pushing scenes, I actually quite like "One Fine Day". This is mainly down to the quick fire repartee and basing the story over the period of just one day, making it feel slightly edgier than your normal romantic comedy. Also the style of humour which could be classed as more situation than slapstick does raise quite a few smiles. My only real negative comes from the seemingly rushed climax, which whilst finishing upbeat really lets the movie down.