'One Day'

"If we don't move, people might think we're interesting."

0.5 stars (out of four)

For no clear reason, Dexter (Jim Sturgess) and Emma (Anne Hathaway with a shaky British accent) neglect to have sex during a one-night stand and then decide a platonic friendship is the way to go. And though we’ve never seen them develop chemistry or much of a bond, “One Day” charts their relationship by only seeing what they’re up to on July 15—every freaking year from 1988 to the present.

The buzz: During the credits, the actors’ names are presented in cursive writing, which totally means “One Day” is classy. Adapting the novel by David Nicholls (who also wrote the script), director Lone Scherfig (“An Education,” which I loved) has a challenge cut out for her: Both of her leads can frequently be caught ACTING, which seriously undermines their characters—who, in this case, actually display no character whatsoever.

The verdict: Just because she’s uptight and he’s not doesn’t mean they’re opposites meant to attract. “One Day” is a long, slow trot toward the inevitable, where “the inevitable” is “two people you don’t care about find foggy reasons to fall in love with each other.” Plot details appear without any set-up—all of a sudden, Dexter’s the irritating host of a terrible TV show—and not one relationship between people who aren’t blood-related feels legit. Emma’s the kind of girl who thinks she deserves success she hasn’t earned and Dexter’s the kind of guy who laments his clothes being stolen because they were Armani. I’m the kind of guy who thinks this is all bollocks.

Did you know? Years after hanging up his penchant for anonymous sex, Dexter notes that an orgy doesn’t keep you warm at night. I’m sure that will turn a lot of people away from having an orgy.

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mpais@tribune.com