Tuesday, July 20, 2010
What could have been a gimmick turns out to be much more (and less, but in a good way). Actually, I guess it's a gimmick, either way, but it can't be dismissed as gimmick. Here's the premise. Track the relationship between two people by looking at the same day (July 15 -technically, it should be called One Date) over decades of time. Sounds like a gimmick, right? Instead, it allows for a nice, slow character arc and helps us realize the two important truths that a) there is no "most important day of your life" and that means b) all of your days are, potentially, important. These days act as glimpses into a larger story, and David Nicholls fleshes that story and these characters out brilliantly. One of the best friendship/romances in contemporary fiction. I compared it to When Harry Met Sally and Nick Hornby, but it's less campy than the former and less sly and hip than the latter. These days are like days you and I have had, the breakups and fights and tipsy laughter and awkward silences are familiar. And that's what we like about this story.