FILMS… One Fine Day (1996)



You’ll look at this film, and you will know their love was meant to be…


After their kids are late for a school trip two single parents meet, share childcare and try to meet work commitments.


One Fine Day | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX, 20th Century Studios


Admittedly I’m not the world’s biggest rom-com fan, but the film One Fine Day (1996) immediately got my interest with its title. Immediately, I thought of the possible soundtrack inclusion of the Chiffons track starting “Shoobie-doobie-doobie-doobie-doo-wop-wop”. This upbeat 1963 hit from an all-girl band was however replaced by a soulful, slow and wistful 1990s version of this with the titular song, sung beautifully by Natalie Merchant.

The inclusion of the song, then made me think this film should have been an updated remake of a Doris Day and James Garner 1960s comedy in the romantic leads with Kym Karath (Gretl) from The Sound of Music (1965) and Matthew Garber, the wee boy in Mary Poppins (1965). And with the original song in the soundtrack… Alternatively, if this had been a 70s movie I am imagining it would be George Segal and Glenda Jackson in those parental roles. Anyway, I digress…

This film is named One Fine Day (1996) – admit it that Chiffons song is in your head now – and not One Fine Hour you know it will take approximately 24 hours in movie plot time and 1 hour and 45 of movie time –  and in my case the addition of 30 bloody minutes of Finnish adverts – to get this pretty, uptight, workaholic, single mum and cool, fun, single dad snog for the first time.

This family comedy film crossed with a rom-com film has the 1990s leads, the always impeccably lovely Michelle Pfeiffer and the one-man charm machine that is (Gorgeous) George Clooney. So I settled down to watch the will they, won’t they, of course, they bloody will romantic comedy movie.

The movie starts with the opening credits imposed over a rainy night in New York City. The camera pans down a building and you see Michelle Pfeiffer through a living room window as divorced single mum Melanie Parker. She is still working, and then she is on automatic pilot mode before she goes to bed. Finally, at midnight, she gets some shut-eye. Cue “One Fine Day”.

Minutes later, she’s woken up by her wee kid Sammy, who wants some water and then some reassurance that her ex-husband / his dad will come to his football game. (Their conversation preempting the inevitable flaky ex-husband appearance in this much later scene.) Then just as she thinks has got him settled, he can’t sleep. So he sleeps in her room. Then as Melanie gets an accidental whack in the face from her sleeping son, this act and the speeded-up alarm clock tells us it’s time for them to get up…

Somewhere else in New York, (gorgeous) divorced single dad, Jack Taylor (George Clooney) is woken up by his ex-wife (who isn’t Amanda Peet, but her doppelganger) before she goes on her honeymoon. Long story short, Jack has to look after their wee daughter, Maggie for a week. She tells Jack that he has to call Melanie to cancel her preschool pick up, nags him and then she leaves. And because he’s being the cool fun dad with Maggie at the time of her doing all this, he totally forgets these instructions and doesn’t take notice of her list (and methinks he was probably just hearing blah, blah, blah)…

Juggling the school pet fish in a water filled tank in one hand and her child in the other – and wearing heels – uptight, control freak Melanie and Sammy run but miss the school meet up for the boat trip. They discover that the whole school is closed for the day as the whole school is on the trip. The charming, fun, little kid at heart Jack – with Maggie in tow – who forgot to call Melanie, also turns up late at the school. The four share a taxi to the harbour (still with the fish).

After they leg it from the taxi to the boat and they inevitably miss the boat full of kids, teachers etc, it’s back in a shared taxi. Seems no family members can look after Sammy as all have “pressing” appointments. The adults bicker between themselves and somehow accidentally swap mobiles. The kids seem to hate each other too, but it’s clear they did even before their parents met.

Then they take their kids to work. He’s a journalist with a tight deadline, she’s an architect with an important meeting. Then as they field each others’ calls, their kids charm / upset their child loving / hating bosses and kids cause chaos. And the school fish gets eaten by Jack’s work cat which belongs to Jack’s boss, Lew (Charles Durning). Both single parents are given work ultimatums from their boss, which they have to meet that day.

They try and leave the kids in some scummy child daycare, where it’s the daycare’s superhero day. Sammy wants to stay with his mum. as the kids seem super scary. The Parkers spot Jack doing a puppet show to convince Maggie to go to the daycare and as he does this, he convinces Sammy to stay too. The parents then band together to make some random costumes out of the contents of Melanie’s handbag, which obviously luckily has everything you could need or two costumes. And this including tape (and sticky back plastic).

Cue two kinda happyish kids and the happyish adults swap phones and get their own phones back. Later things at the daycare go awry, Sammy phones his mum and tells her Maggie was offered LSD and this panics Melanie into picking them up again. The kids apparently have bonded and are now besties after this awful daycare experience.

Then the Parkers and the Taylors meet again, and this time the adults arrange to look after each other’s kids. They agree to take turns in looking after both the kids. He looks after them while she does a work presentation where she has to show a proposed architectural model to some clients. Then she takes over as he goes to get the scoop for a front-page story on a shady mayor, who was planning on sueing Jack for saying that the mayor has mob connections.

What possibly could go wrong?? After both parents have inevitable parental difficulties that develop into character arcs, they all meet up again… finally…  and all four get to the kids’ football game…  Whilst there Melanie meets up with her musician ex-husband, who turned up but.. we learn is naturally a flaky bastard. And the rest is in the movie…

This Pfeiffer-Clooney on-screen romance was worth the wait… because hey, it’s George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer. And after finally seeing it I can confirm Paul who raves about this film in his Pfabulous blog, has all the right reasons for honouring this movie. The casting of anyone else for those leads would have been clearly wrong, or indeed any characters. So if you were hoping for Charles Durning to cop off with Amanda Peet this is not that movie.

George Clooney is the definition of Jack Taylor, a cute, charming, charismatic actor journalist adored by every woman he meets on screen. (Apart from his on screen ex-wife, obviously). As he is a fun dad, this film totally exploits the Clooney puppy dog eyed charm… Anyway, where was I…? Somehow you can’t imagine Jack played by the others who the studio wanted for this role, Kevin Costner and Tom Cruise. Or seeing Michelle having so much chemistry with either of them. Jack has a cute 8 year old daughter, Maggie who wouldn’t be half as cute if you had to believe she was Cruises or Costners…

Michelle is credible as single, independent, feisty Melanie Parker with a 7 year old son, Sammy. It turns out that our Michelle was an executive producer in this film and her production company part-financed it. So surely they could have got her more legroom in the numerous taxi scenes, as this actress has legs longer than most models (this writer adds with a touch of envy). She’s also an underrated and a natural comic, and paired up with Clooney, she glows.

Love blossoming between these on-screen characters was obviously kinda inevitable just reading those acting names alone, and this even when her makeup is smudged and she is wearing a grotty looking t-shirt (please send me your secret Michelle). And as he is getting come to bed eyes from every actress on the screen including Michelle’s on-screen mother (Holland Taylor), they are all doomed as he’s more or less fallen for Michelle’s character from their first meeting.

In One Fine Day, as the two adults met – again and again – despite their obvious sparks and fireworks, they had definite on-screen potential romantic chemistry. It was felt in every joint scene and it was also suggested in every split-screen and montage. You even felt the potential for it felt every time they talked separately about the other single parent to both the two on-screen cute children. So you spend all your time rooting for them and shouting at the screen for them to snog… (and therefore getting funny looks from those present).

The on-screen kids seemed pretty cool and unfazed by their famous off-screen “parents”. They were both well chosen for these roles and were surprisingly less annoying than certain kid actors. Wee Alex and Mae had a kinda fun and credible little kid chemistry together and with these off-screen Hollywood headliners.

But no, we don’t want the 2020s “fun” reboot sequel now these child stars are in their thirties. Possibly with a slogan “The kids from One Fine Day have One More Fine Day...”. As the film industry cash in with a film where the kids – who are now adults – fall in love or they reunite the now more than middle-aged Pfeiffer and Clooney characters who fell out off-screen for some really stupid reason.

The kids, Sammy (Alex D Linz) and Maggie (Mae Whitman) were much more than prop devices that will somehow bring these adults together.. as well as dishing advice to their parents, they give the running on-screen commentary of “your mum and my dad hate / like / want to snog each other” (and vice versa). These kids are, like the audience, much more perceptive of their parents growing attraction to each other, unsaid feelings etc between these often warring single parents, than their parents are. Until Melanie twigs, and gets some girly advice from Maggie…

Yes. this may have been the most obvious of all those inevitable on-screen romances and Jack Bauer of 24 (2002-14), never had his 24-hour missions this action-packed. As there’s a hell of a lot of cool soundtrack tunes, adult character arcs, cute kid moments, scary kid moments, “comedy” from Pfeiffer, cute Clooney moments, women fawning over Clooney Jack, Pfeiffer’s shirt needing to be changed after countless “accidents” and scenes with Melanie’s bottomless work bag which has more contents any Blue Peter (1958-) presenter would need  – and therefore just like that Mary Poppins one – with anything and everything that helps the plot move along a bit, first.

This bag has that anything from materials to make a superhero costume for two kids (including two masks and a “cape”), a huge bag of toy cars (to enhance her architecture model to impress that client) and kids clothes that can easily fit both her and her son. Then when the leads finally get together and snog, it’s montage time once more as Melanie dolls herself up to look more like the glam actress we know and love with even more top changing etc, Jack crashes out exhausted. And so do you.


Weeper Rating  😦😦 😦😦😦/10

Handsqueeze Rating 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 /10

Hulk Rating: ‎ mrgreenmrgreen/10


Addicted to Love on One Fine Day Blogathon 2021, No 19

This film was added to Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies’ Addicted to Love on One Fine Day Blogathon. Other films and TV reviews with this cast include Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2, The Witches of Eastwick, Fantasy Island, The Deep End of The Ocean, Sweet Liberty and Stardust. This blog also has a guest post for I Could Never Be Your Woman. Amanda Peet stars in 2012 and Somethings Gotta Give. Charles Durning in Tootsie. George Clooney starred in Murder She Wrote and Hotel.

13 thoughts on “FILMS… One Fine Day (1996)

  1. Pfabulous! I’m very happy (and relieved) that you enjoyed this film. Reading your lovely review I found myself nodding in agreement with everything you wrote. Your observations on Michelle’s “Blue Peter” bag and her legs in the taxi scenes especially brought a smile to my face. I’m sure I’ll be back to read this post many times in the future. Thanks for watching this film and sharing your thoughts. It really does mean a lot to me!

    Liked by 1 person

Love your thoughts... but only if they are spoiler free!

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