Is One Day on Netflix Based on a True Story?

Netflix's latest rom-com, One Day, has been breaking viewers' hearts since it premiered earlier this year.

The series follows a unique pattern of viewing where Dexter and Emma's lives are on the same day, July 15, throughout 20 years, with each episode focusing on a distinct year, beginning in the late 1980s and finishing in the mid-2000s.

But is this heartfelt tale of friendship and love based on a true story?

Is One Day on Netflix Based on a True Story?

No, One Day on Netflix is not based on a factual story, but rather on David Nicholls' acclaimed and devastating novel of the same title.

It is not the book's first adaptation; Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess starred in a 2011 film adaptation.

Although Nicholls' novel is a work of fiction, the author has already revealed how his own experiences inspired the plot.

Is One Day Based on a True Story?

Many sequences in the Netflix adaptation are set in Edinburgh, and Nicholls has previously spoken about his connection to the city.

In an interview with The Daily Record in 2011, he claimed that he fell in love with the city after spending the summer there for the fringe festival.

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“When I came to Edinburgh in 1988, I had spent nearly all my life living south of Bristol, and I was just amazed that a city like Edinburgh was actually in the British Isles,” he told me.

“It was so dramatic and beautiful, and it really made a huge impression on me, and it's stayed with me ever since.”

Are Emma and Dexter real people?

Nicholls has previously revealed that the people he encountered over the years influenced the characters Emma and Dexter.

Nicholls studied English and drama at the university, and after a brief career as an actor, he began writing and publishing novels. This event is portrayed by Mod's character, Emma.

“I'd had my fair share of false starts and blind alleys,” he explained to The Guardian in 2021. “Emma's terrible Tex-Mex restaurant was my Fulham bistro chain; her avocado bathroom came from my bedsit in Battersea.”

Meanwhile, Dexter's persona was influenced by a few people Nicholls knew. “A lot of my male friends had quite a wild, hedonistic time in London in the '90s, and that's gone into Dexter's character,” Nicholls told the book blog Midlife at the Oasis in 2010.

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In an interview with The Guardian in 2011, Nicholls said of Dexter: “When I was an actor, I worked with lots of men who had a bit of success early on, who were good-looking, who suddenly made a bit of money, and who felt no embarrassment – and nor should they have about having a nice time. I believe there are some of them in Dexter.”

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