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Festivale Autumn 1997

One Fine Day

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

So many films have men and women facing adversity together. They meet, they are drawn together by shared stress, common dangers, and the same enemy, and we are asked to believe that when all these things are gone, they will have other things in common with which to build a lasting relationship.
One Fine Day, Michelle Pfieffer and George Clooney copyright C20 Fox

One Fine Day is your standard disaster film. The couple meet (they dislike one another), they are forced together by catastrophe, and they learn that only together can they rise above it; they must become allies in order to survive.
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However, this is the nineties, and in One Fine Day the disaster is the kind of disaster that faces people every day. Working parents, without help, without notice, have the kids for the day when the school closes! Ugh! I'd rather be Linda Hamilton facing an exploding volcano that Michelle Pfieffer with a manic, destructive, abusive, demanding, destructive (it's worth saying twice) child whose misbehaviour threatens to cost his mother her job.

Umm, you might get the idea here that I personally (and the person beside me) spent quite a bit of this film barracking for leash and muzzle laws for school children.

So here is warning number one. These children are not Drew Barrymore/E.T. cute, they are undisciplined rug-rats who ring up mummy from the child-care centre and tell her that one of the other children is dealing L.S.D.

This film is interesting because it is more likely than most scenarios. Let's face it, how many of us really meet our helpmates while the one-winged aeroplane we travel in is landed by a deaf nun who once read a book on aeronautical engineering?

One Fine Day is about real lives -- it doesn't ennoble our daily lives, but maybe it should. Somewhere, despite the attractive actors, despite the realistic dialogue, it fails to give us the catharsis that is so much a part of the best theatre. This is a day we could all have: job on the line, hectic schedule, conflicting demands on our times, split-second decisions that could change our lives.

One Fine Day is not a fairy tale; it is drama, but not adventure. Although it reflects life in the nineties, I'm not sure that it will be successful in the nineties. It needs something else, another layer, perhaps, but it is still watchable and it doesn't insult your intelligence that way most action films do. Make up your own mind.

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Ali Kayn See also: Alex D. Linz appears in Home Alone 3; George Clooney in The Peacemaker, Out of Sight.
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Just the facts:

Title: One Fine Day (1996)
Written by: Terrel Seltzer and Ellen Simon
Directed by: Michael Hoffman
Produced by: Lynda Obst; Michelle Pfieiffer & Kate Guinzburg (executive), Mary McLaglen
Edited by: Garth Craven
Cinematography: Oliver Stapleton
Released by 20th Century Fox.

The Players: Michelle Pfeiffer, George Clooney, Mae Whitman, Alex D. Linz, Charles Durning and Jon Robin Baitz
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Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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