One Fine Day (1996)

Revisiting—or in a few cases, watching for the first time—blogger Michael C. celebrates the work of Michelle Pfeiffer, the best actress of his lifetime.
The classic screwball romantic comedy, when done right, is beautiful to behold. In 1996, established superstar Michelle Pfeiffer starred alongside then-rising Hollywood hunk George Clooney in the charming and delightful One Fine Day. When mentioning Pfeiffer’s best work, this film isn’t often named, but it deserves to be. Certainly, it’s a light, frothy affair, which might lead some to dismiss it as unworthy. That would be a mistake, as Pfeiffer is simply radiant in a memorably sublime performance.
It’s an utter joy to be in Pfeiffer’s and Clooney’s company here, tagging along as they make their way through one exceptionally frenzied day in the lives of two busy New Yorkers just trying to wrangle their kids while also doing their jobs. You know, just the usual adulting stuff, really. Throw into the mix that Pfeiffer’s single mom Melanie Parker and Clooney’s single dad Jack Taylor keep intersecting with each other throughout the day—while also passing their kids off to one another at different points—and that the actors have terrific chemistry, well then you have the ingredients for a truly exceptional rom-com.The film throws a series of endless contrivances at the two leads, and both actors handle them with nimble grace and aplomb. Pfeiffer especially is pure white gold here, all eye rolls and snappy retorts, exhaustion and exasperation. She’s the classic romantic female lead updated to the then-modern age, complete with such ’90s accoutrements as a permanently frazzled personality and a hilariously oversized cell phone. It’s easily one of her very best comedic performances, ranking close to her astonishing comic excellence in 1988’s Married to the Mob. As in that film, she handles physical comedy beautifully, while also exuding a real warmth and magnetic charisma. She takes what could be a tired archetype—the Type A woman and all of the cliches that entails—and creates a complex and fully dimensional woman, one that any parent or working professional can easily relate to.
The film also contains a stellar example of the legendary Pfeiffer cool. At one point she has to squeeze into her kid’s goofy dinosaur t-shirt. Even in such silly attire, she remains the coolest person on the planet, easily.

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14 Comments

Filed under Feature, Guest Post

14 responses to “One Fine Day (1996)

  1. Ah it’s my two pfavourite Michelle Pfeiffer Pfans, its on the to watch and then review pile I promise!!

  2. Michael

    I’m honored that you chose to reblog this post, my pfriend. Thank you, from the bottom of my Michelle-loving heart. It’s nice to see it find a second home here.

    • You’re welcome. Once I’ve rebuilt bridges with my disaffected followers I’d like to make this a regular feature, same day every week. Let me know what you think. Thanks again my pfriend.

      • Michael

        That sounds wonderful, Paul. I have a lot of Michelle content on the blog to choose from, so have at it. I’d love to reblog some of your work, too. Life has been, to put it mildly, various shades of lousy lately. I’m struggling to create my own content of late, then struggling with lack of interest once I put it out in the world. So I feel your pain. Hope you are doing as well as can be. Let’s be sure to keep in touch!

        • It’s all good. I get to feature your work and fill in some gaps in Michelle’s pfilmography here at the same time. I am sorry life has been lousy lately, I know how you feel. This place has long been my escape, although even my affection for Pfeiffer has waned recently. Happily the malaise seems to be passing, although as I hinted in my previous comment I know I’ve lost a lot of my followers in my absence. Rest assured you are one of my favourite writers, and not just for your Pfeiffer related posts. So I wouldn’t worry about a lack of interest in your site. It’s just the way the blogging world works and no reflection on the quality of your content. People are fickle unfortunately. That’s why us pfans need to stick together!

  3. Great post 🙂 I think what makes this film work is the chemistry between Clooney and Pfeiffer. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

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