Anne Hathaway slips out of our comfort zone to don a fairly unconvincing English accent in this sombre version of When Harry Met Sally. The film is based on the award-winning book by David Nicholls, and stars Jim Sturgess (you may remember him as the suit-wearing card counter in 21) as the male lead.
The story is based on the lives of the Emma (Hathaway) and Dexter (Sturgess), who meet in college and after an unsuccessful attempt at a one-night stand, decide it is best to be friends and manage to remain so. Their lives are revisited over a twenty year period, each year on July 15th, as they navigate their way through careers, personal crises and changing hairstyles. Eventually they are forced to face exactly what their relationship means.
It is an interesting way to structure a story, and I found it refreshingly different. The format means many of the most significant events in the characters' lives are not witnessed by the audience, and that we must form our own conclusions. It also results in a film that really focuses on the central relationship, rather than getting too lost in the individual stories and losing the bigger picture.
Despite Hathaway's slightly flawed accent, both actors deliver solid performances. It is certainly not a happy movie, in fact I'm not sure we see the actors' perfect teeth form a smile more than a couple of times throughout the film, however it is certainly worth the ticket price.