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One Special Night - A Movie Review

'One Special Night' is a heartwarming tale about unexpected connections

By Marielle SabbagPublished 3 months ago 3 min read

Do you believe in second chances?

Following a snowstorm, One Special Night is a 1999 film. On Thanksgiving, two strangers take refuge in a small cabin during a stormy winter night. Robert and Catherine are two different people but they share more in common than expected.

I am so glad I discovered One Special Night because it is one of the most underrated holiday films ever. One Special Night is a heartwarming tale about unexpected connections and how they change the coldest of circumstances.

Julie Andrews and the late James Garner made the best tag team. Garner and Andrews commented on how much they enjoyed working on this film together and it shows. They each did a wonderful job with their characters.

Right from the start, Robert and Catherine zap sarcasm at each other. I never knew how much I’d love Andrews’ sassy and sarcastic comebacks. Although this film is the usual meet-love story, Garner and Andrews make it a completely fresh relationship.

As you may guess, the pair have a variety of conversations, some random or personal discussions. They have different viewpoints, like how Robert believes a woman should act. What’s important is that you should never make implications about a person. You never know what anyone has gone through in life.

I was laughing when Robert asked Catherine if she had seen Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho right when Catherine entered the bathroom. Catherine blocking the bathroom door with a chair just solidifies the moment. The best was when they talked about eating chocolate chip pancakes. I loved chocolate chip pancakes as a kid.

One Special Night is not just about the duo. Robert’s family has an important segment involving their dynamic. Robert’s wife is in a nursing home. Her decreasing memory has the entire family worried. Lori and Marybeth (Patricia Charbonneau and Sheena Larkin) bicker and reminisce if they’ve been good daughters. This adds layers to the story.

The characters are fleshed out like we know them. In contrast to Robert and Catherine’s budding romance, Lori and Jeff (Stewart Bick) wonder if their relationship is worth a second chance. Michael (Daniel Magder) was humorous as a young child. Although the adults try to hide information, he already knows.

The screenplay written by Nancy Silvers, cleverly weaves humor, drama, and romance. The writing for the film is so fresh. The film is not just a love story. One Special Night explores flaws making them relatable for audiences. Roger Young reminds us that even in unexpected ways we can find love.

The film takes place on a snowy evening. I felt like I needed to throw a jacket on and I was inside my warm living room! If the characters look cold, they are. The filming took place in Montreal where temperatures dropped to below 38 Fahrenheit!

Andrews reported that it was so cold that a glass of water turned to snow before touching the ground! The chilling winds mirror the initial frostiness between the protagonists, gradually thawing as the story progresses.

The film's setting in the midst of a snowstorm is more than just a picturesque backdrop; it becomes a character in itself. Set designers did a remarkable job on the cabin. Right when you walk in from the cold, the cabin feels warm. Although it doesn’t have power, the pair enjoy each other's company.

One Special Night deserves a watch this holiday season because it’s packed away in the museum of underrated gems. One Special Night is a sweet and sentimental masterpiece brought to life by the excellent performances of James Garner and Julie Andrews.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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  • Naveed 3 months ago

    Fabulous work! Keep it up

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