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One Fine Day (1996)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  20 December 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 34,782 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 39 critic

Melanie Parker, an architect and mother of Sammy, and Jack Taylor, a newspaper columnist and father of Maggie, are both divorced. They meet one morning when overwhelmed Jack is left ... See full summary »


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Title: One Fine Day (1996)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pete Hamill ...
Barry Kivel ...
George Martin ...


Melanie Parker, an architect and mother of Sammy, and Jack Taylor, a newspaper columnist and father of Maggie, are both divorced. They meet one morning when overwhelmed Jack is left unexpectedly with Maggie and forgets that Melanie was to take her to school. As a result, both children miss their school field trip and are stuck with the parents. The two adults project their negative stereotypes of ex-spouses on each other, but end up needing to rely on each other to watch the children as each must save his job. Humor is added by Sammy's propensity for lodging objects in his nose and Maggie's tendency to wander. Written by John H. Henderson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She was having a perfectly bad day... Then he came along and spoiled it.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and mild sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un beau jour  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,226,430 (USA) (20 December 1996)


ITL 4,962,772,000 (Italy) (6 June 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The school that was used for the scene where Jack and Melanie find their children's class had already left is a private college called the New York School of Interior Design or NYSID. The red front doors were added for the filming. See more »


When Michelle Pfeiffer is in the taxi with George Clooney's phone, he calls her up to give her messages. She then acts totally surprised that they mixed up their cell phones and she has his, but then continues to say he has a meeting at 4, indicating she already knew she had his phone by mistake because she took a phone call for him. See more »


Jack Taylor: Maggie, when you grow up and are incredibly beautiful and intelligent and possess a certain sweetness that's... that's like a distant promise to the brave, to the worthy, could you please not beat to a pulp every miserable bastard that comes your way simply because you can? Could you not do that?
Maggie Taylor: Okay Daddy.
See more »


Referenced in The Dog Trick (2002) See more »


For the First Time
Written by James Newton Howard, Allan Dennis Rich, and Jud Friedman
Performed by Kenny Loggins
Kenny Loggins appears courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Not all romantic comedies are created equal!
16 October 2004 | by (California) – See all my reviews

I would probably never decide to watch this film, had it not been for my wife who rented the DVD. Just like many others, I expect romantic comedies to be all the same - usually terribly unrealistic (talk about suspension of disbelief!) as in the Pretty Woman, and the humor to be 3rd grade.

But, One Fine Day, surprised me in many ways! First, it is not "I need insulin right now!" sweet. Also it is surprisingly relevant for today's world, and not targeted at teeny boppers.

One Fine Day is a film with a very smart script, funny dialogues, beautiful acting, directing, and it all gels well together. Most of the moviegoers today expect blood, gore, darkness of warped minds, and it seems that films which don't have that have a hard time getting a good review. It is time we step back, and enjoy some of the subtleties of life and people, and laugh at ourselves, when it's all presented in a believable and funny way.

The film takes us through "one fine day" of a single mother and her son, and a single father and his daughter. Due to his error, they miss their kids field trip and are, reluctantly, helping each other out take care of kids. While he obviously likes her but has a problem with trusting again, and a questionable flirting tactics, she is more obviously shell shocked and uses every opportunity to put him down. In a single day they both go through so many humbling episodes that the relationship develops from "I already have an opinion about you..." and "So do I..." to "I'll help you out if you say: 'Be my knight in shining armor...'"

The control freak named Melanie and played wonderfully by Michelle Pfeiffer, manages to stay likable even though she "beats every miserable bastard that comes her way to pulp". George Clooney has an easier time being liked as he is his pretty much usual self, and that's exactly what the character requires. Both kids were much better then I would normally expect them to be; I am always put off by artificial adult gestures and "too cool for you" acting of today's kids in Hollywood films, and expected that this time it would be the same, but it was not.

The humor in this film is subtle, and you may actually miss it altogether if you expect things to blow in your face. I loved those brief encounters between Melanie (Pfeiffer) and Celia (Amanda Peet) in which a beautiful perfectionist with a heart (Pfeiffer) meets her less polite match... Amanda Peet was also fantastic! Just notice how Pfeiffer's facial expression changes when she realizes who she's talking to. Another one to watch and enjoy is the episode with Melanie's boss.

Also, this film can be watched more then once, as there is a lot to appreciate about it.

ps. A scene at the shrink's office made me laugh like never before!

37 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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