HomeNETFLIX‘One Day’: Is The Netflix Series Based On A True Story?

    ‘One Day’: Is The Netflix Series Based On A True Story?

    One Day’ on Netflix has become the perfect, heart-touching but tragic romance that makes the viewers laugh and cry. In the series, the best friends – Emma Morley, played by Ambika Mod, and Dexter Mayhew, portrayed by Leo Woodall – go through two decades of will-they-won’t-they relationship.

    The series is an adaptation of David Nicholls’ best-selling book told over a 14-part limited series. Earlier, Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess starred in the 2011 movie based on the book of the same title. Many fans wondered if the devastating end of Emma and Dexter might be altered in Netflix’s ‘One Day’, but their fate was sealed. Now, the question remains, are the star-crossed lovers based on a real couple?

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    The Inspiration Behind ‘One Day’

    'One Day' is a hit on Netflix
    ‘One Day’ is a hit on Netflix

    In ‘One Day’, Emma and Dexter meet on their graduation night at Edinburgh University back in 1998. They end up spending a day together, just talking and bonding. However, they go their separate ways but keep in touch no matter where life leads them. They deal with adulthood, friendship, romance, ambitions, and addictions – sometimes succeeding and other times failing. So, the story seems quite relatable. But, thankfully their unfortunate end wasn’t suffered by any couple in reality.

    David Nicholl admitted that his novel is a work of fiction, but he drew inspiration from his own life and the people he knew at college while he studied English and Drama.

    In an interview with the Guardian, the author reflected on the character of Dexter, “When I was an actor, I worked with lots of men who had a bit of success early on, who were very good looking, who suddenly made a bit of money and who felt no embarrassment – and nor should they have done – about having a good time. I think there are probably bits of them in Dexter.”

    As for Emma, Nicholls himself turned to writing novels after trying his hand at acting, just like the character. He explained about Emma’s inception, “I’d had my fair share of false starts and blind alleys. Emma’s terrible Tex-Mex restaurant was my Fulham bistro chain, her avocado bathroom came from my bedsit in Battersea.”

    Thomas Hardy’s classic novel, ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles‘ helped Nicholl conceive the idea behind ‘One Day‘. The inspiration was a passage that Emma ends up reading to Dexter in a flashback scene in the final episode of the series. The passage points out how unpredictable life is and the significance of the day a person dies. “There it was again; that ordinary day that turns out not to be ordinary at all,” he said.

    In the series, Emma and Dexter finally get together after a dance of developing feelings at the wrong time and wrong place, but everything comes to a crashing halt as tragedy hits. The short-lived romance due to Emma’s accident has gutted fans, and rightfully so.

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    Why The Tragic Ending Of ‘One Day’ Had To Happen

    'One Day' still
    ‘One Day’ still

    After two decades to being in each other’s lives, Emma and Dexter finally gave relationship a shot. They found happiness in each other and moved towards marriage as well. But neither the readers nor the viewers of ‘One Day’ got a happy ending, it was heartbreak all the way through.

    Emma dies and Dexter grapples with grief and addiction before getting his act together for his daughter from his first wife Sylvie. This comes after a solid intervention by his friends and family.

    Showrunner Nicole Taylor was conflicted about keeping the tragic ending. She told The Wrap, “I didn’t want to do that to her because I love her, and the audience does not want [that]. Everyone who read the book remembers how they felt when that happened. You just want to throw the book out the window.” So why did she go ahead with the sad ending? It was because “fundamentally, that ending is stitched into the work as a whole.”

    She further explained, “The story kind of has its own thematic integrity, it has its own structural integrity. I feel like the overall meaning of the piece requires that, and I felt like any changing of the ending would be gratuitous and undermine the overall impact of the piece so I think it was the right thing to have a good think about it, question it and not just take it as given.”

    The ending made perfect sense to ‘One Day’ author David Nicholl as well. He had a clear vision of what he wanted to do with the story. “You need to do something shocking, or else it’s just a ‘will they or won’t they’ story of best friends who could be something more, and that’s the oldest story there is,” he told Vulture, adding, “I don’t think you could do it any other way.”

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    Rishita Roy Chowdhury
    Rishita Roy Chowdhury
    Rishita Roy Chowdhury is the Chief Editor at First Curiosity. She has always been fascinated with the power of words and the need to follow goings on of the world. She likes to spend most of her time contemplating her existence, and escaping reality by reading, writing, and watching movies and shows. So, she made a career out of it in 2017 when she joined ScoopWhoop and extensively wrote about pop culture. To gain more experience of hardcore news, she moved on to the print arena with The Sunday Guardian newspaper where she interviewed celebrities, musicians, sportsmen, authors, chefs, and more. Her love of all things art and culture also led her to review books, movies, series, and restaurants. She tested and expanded her skills by dabbling in the digital space with India Today’s entertainment team. There, she wrote thousands of articles on the world of glitz and glamour. Now, at First Curiosity, she constantly searches and writes stories that resonate with readers and spark their interest. She also manages a team of dedicated writers who share her vision to remain sane in a crazy world with doses of entertainment.

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