1 item from 1996
In olden days of romantic comedy, couples met cute. In the anything-goes '90s, or at least in this frothy entertainment, they meet hostile. But other than that modern update, there's little difference between 20th Century Fox's "One Fine Day" and some of the finest merriments of the romantic comedy classics.
With appealing star performances from Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney, this charmer should attract very fine days at the boxoffice. It's not hard to conjure up Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant or elements of such classics as "His Girl Friday" or "The Awful Truth" when viewing this smartly pedigreed movie. It's high praise to group Pfeiffer and Clooney in that league, but their crustily silken performances are delightfully enticing.
In this present-day scenario, they're both harried divorcees, single- parent/professionals who are thrust into one not-so-fine day in which both their professional and personal lives are stretched to the limits. She's Melanie, an architect with a career-making presentation; he's Jack, a newspaper columnist whose job hinges on clearing up a controversial column he did linking the mayor with organized crime.
They're thrust together through their kids -- he has a girl, she a boy -- when, owing to the overstretched natures of their modern lives and a string of circumstances, they find themselves not only battling their big-day battles but having to bring their elementary-age kids along with them. For their mutual benefit, they agree on a kid-sharing plan -- she watches them during his critical press conference while he takes them during her architectural presentation.
Unlike the traditional screwball comedy formula where the male was the repressed straight-arrow and the female was the wacky free spirit who loosens him up, the straight man here is Melanie, whose compulsive organizational traits put her at odds with Jack's breezy nonchalance. She thrives on order, he thrives on chaos; and in the baffling chemistry of romance, opposites-attract sparks start to fly.
Perhaps the only flaw in this well-wrought romance is that the sparks start a little prematurely. Although we readily see their differences, scenes of each character grudgingly, or surprisingly, admiring the other are scant and other than the characters' surface physical desirability, their emotional attraction is somewhat underdeveloped and unconvincing.
Still, niggling aside, screenwriters Terrel Seltzer and Ellen Simon have concocted a brainy, madcap amusement with decidedly sympathetic characters. The certain proof -- you root for these two to get together.
The supporting characters are a terrific blend of sweet and sassy types. In particular, both kids, Mae Whitman and Alex D. Linz, are adorable, regular-type tots with no gloss of Hollywood sheen. On the adult side, Charles Durning is perfect as Jack's gruff, big-hearted editor, while sports scribe Pete Hamill is creatively cast as a spacey, perceptive land developer.
With his hand expertly on the narrative accelerator, director Michael Hoffman has fashioned a fast-paced, warm-hearted movie. With a frothy mix of wipes and split screens, as well as a keen eye for visual hilarity, Hoffman has cut a near-perfect crystalline comedy.
ONE FINE DAY
20th Century Fox
Fox 2000 Pictures presents
a Lynda Obst production
in association with Via Rosa Prods.
A Michael Hoffman film
Producer Lynda Obst
Director Michael Hoffman
Screenwriters Terrel Seltzer, Ellen Simon
Executive producers Kate Guinzburg,
Director of photography Oliver Stapleton
Production design David Gropman
Editor Garth Craven
Co-producer Mary McLaglen
Music James Newton Howard
Costume design Susie DeSanto
Casting Lora Kennedy
Special visual effects by VIFX
VIFX visual effects supervisor
Sound mixer Petur Hliddal
Melanie Parker Michelle Pfeiffer
Jack Taylor George Clooney
Maggie Taylor Mae Whitman
Sammy Parker Alex D. Linz
Lew Charles Durning
Yates Jr. Jon Roin Baitz
Elaine Lieberman Ellen Greene
Manny Feldstein Joe Frifasi
Frank Burroughs Pete Hamill
Running time -- 108 minutes
MPAA rating: PG
1 item from 1996
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