The first part of this review is a book-movie combo: One Day, by David Nicholls. The book tells the story of Emma and Dexter, college students in the UK who become friends on their graduation night, and follows them for twenty years, through bad jobs and bad relationships, tracking the ebbs and flows of their sometimes friendship, sometimes romance. At first I wasn't crazy about the book- I found Emma self-righteous and irritating, and Dexter self-centered and obnoxious- but they got better as they got older (although Dexter remains a bit of a dick for most of it), and a couple of chapters in, and I was hooked. It's funny and clever and you feel like you actually know the characters, but I must warn you, the book takes a completely unexpected turn towards the end that might leave readers a bit upset at the author.
Onto One Day, the movie. I saw the movie just a few days after finishing the book, so I was interested to see what they would do with the characters who were still so fresh in my mind. The two leads were great- Jim Sturgess is English and handsome and a natural choice for Dex. Anne Hathaway's English accent was a bit hit-or-miss, but she fit the role well, capturing both Emma's sarcasm and self-doubt. The minor characters Ian and Sylvie were perfect but they totally missed the mark with Suki, who was more like a cartoon character than a real person. I liked the movie, but not sure how I would have felt about it if I hadn't have read the book first, because I enjoyed seeing what parts they used for the movie and what omitted.
And now for the show- Okkervil River at The Forum. This Austin indie rock first hit my radar a few years ago with Black, the type of song that has you listening to the lyrics to see if you can figure out the story. To be honest, I wasn't very familiar with their newer stuff but hadn't seen them live before, and a $50 ticket is a bargain by Australian standards. (oh how I miss the Boston live music scene!). They put on a great set that was a nice mix of mellow songs with some peppier rock tunes as well, and inspired me to download a few of their new tracks the next day. (obligatory concert photo lifted from my friend Vinnie)