Romantic comedies, for all their faults, succeed more often than not by making humdrum, everyday life appear glamorous and charming. It's something One Fine Day - - produced by Michelle Pfeiffer as a star vehicle for herself and ER/Batman heart-throb George Clooney - - manages effortlessly. Suddenly dreary real-world problems, like baby-sitting, single parenthood and office deadlines, assume a cool and romantic air. For a comedy it's not very funny, and not much happens, but that matters not a hoot - - what counts is the romanticism and chemistry, and Pfeiffer and Clooney click perfectly as they pursue each other around a rainy New York. Pfeiffer is wonderful, George gorgeous, and you'd have to possess a beating red organ of the stony stuff not to find yourself hoping the pair of them quit messing about and get down to some serious living happily ever after.
One Fine Day is best pigeon-holed as a Pillow Talk of the '90s, with our two lovebirds making fine approximations of that classic rom com partnership of Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Considering the actors at his disposal, director Michael Hoffman (best known for the ambitious, but patchy, Restoration) doesn't have much to do here, save prevent things getting too schmaltzy, and present his by-the-book tale of mix-ups, arguments, misunderstandings and meet cutes with sufficient panache and class to suggest the good ol' days. He pulls it off with style, unafraid to use shots such as an old-fashioned split-screen effect for the film's numerous mobile phone calls, or run with something so unashamedly Love Story-esque as Clooney carrying Pfeiffer though huge pools of rainwater in Central Park.
Pfeiffer starts off as a prickly, pent-up misery guts, just as she did in Frankie And Johnny, although she soon finds herself succumbing to Clooney's considerable wooing powers (and what girl wouldn't?). But on the way - and it's something of a surprise, this - we see the occasional flash of refreshing, gut-felt honesty. You do get the impression 'Chelle's genuinely reacting to her swoony co-star's bemused brand of sexiness, and not just gurning out one of her famed pouty, smoky looks.
But excellent though Pfeiffer is, it's Clooney who steals the show. In Batman he's surrounded by other stars; for From Dusk Till Dawn he drew but a cult crowd. This is his big break to prove himself as a bona fide movie star in the mould of Mel Gibson or Harrison Ford - and he doesn't disappoint. His charming and big-hearted single father is so utterly adorable (Oh for Pete's sake, get a grip girl - - Ed).
One Fine Day is an out-and-out date movie, but don't dismiss it for that. It's well-made, genuinely amusing (even if not hilarious) and excellently played out, with oodles of sex appeal and enough charm to have the pants off you, if you allow it. Just let the cockles of your heart be warmed by that old-fashioned post-movie glow.
A much classier proposition than your normal insipid, run-of-the-mill romantic comedy, One Fine Day is a piece that's pleasingly low on baby banter and high on star power. George Clooney again proves he's capable of switching from small to big screen effortlessly.