This week, Meena Alexander reveals the documentary you need to add to your must-watchlist, while Kayleigh Dray mulls over the new One Day reboot – but not before she talks you through the new films and TV shows dropping this week…

Abbott Elementary season 3

The critically lauded mockumentary is finally coming back to our screens – but what’s next for Janine and Gregory after that long-awaited kiss? And why on earth has Ava installed cameras all over the school? Expect laughs, biting social commentary and heartwarming moments aplenty from Quinta Brunson & Co. Wednesday 7 February; Disney+

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The Iron Claw

The one and only Adele branded this her “favourite movie of the year”, and little wonder: all about the Von Erich brothers, who made wrestling history in the 1980s, it boasts a powerhouse performance from Zac Efron and offers up the kind of tragic true story that will sit with you long after the credits roll. Friday 9 February; UK cinemas

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Lover, Stalker, Killer

In this twisted true crime documentary, one man’s attempt at a no-strings-attached romance results in a four-year nightmare of harassment, digital deception and murder. Go into this one expecting the unexpected… Friday 9 February; Netflix

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... everything we want to see in the new One Day adaptation

“Let’s face facts: the 2011 movie adaptation of One Day was an absolute disaster,” says Kayleigh. “Many fans of David Nicholls’s bestseller hated it, insisting the film butchered the tragic romance book they loved so dearly – so, yes, it’s safe to say they’re nervous about Netflix’s upcoming series of the same name.

“Considering the success that the new Percy Jackson series on Disney+ (yet another TV adaptation of a bestselling novel, released years after a blockbuster flop) has had, it seems One Day fans could stand to be cautiously optimistic about Netflix’s version of events. If they do a few things differently, that is…”

No offence to Anne Hathaway (we love her forever), but there’s no denying that her take on the iconic Yorkshire accent definitely stood out in the 2011 film. And not for the right reasons. Thankfully, we have the brilliant Ambika Mod (excellent in This Is Going To Hurt) to steer us right this time around.

You know the score: the book spans the decades-long relationship of our star-crossed lovers, revisiting them throughout their lives on the same date (the one they met on) to see how they’re navigating their feelings for one another. The film had to do all of this in 1hr 47mins, so sure, it felt rushed. The series, however, is a whopping 14 episodes, which means we should have plenty of time to really get to know the duo this time around.

Look, it’s not the film’s fault; it had all the best lines and moments from the book, but there just wasn’t time for the internal monologues to fill in the gaps. In the Netflix version, though, there are more hours to fill, so we can only hope Nicholls & Co have found a way to translate all of that beautiful emotion from the page to the screen.

We get it: Dexter – played by Jim Sturgess in the 2011 film and The White Lotus’s Leo Woodall in the Netflix series – and his dramas are infinitely more suited to the big screen than Emma’s quiet struggles. So it makes sense that the movie spent a lot more time with him than it did her… but we’re hoping that we get an even split between the two characters this time around. You know, like we did in the book. 

5. ONE (1!) ENDING
How many endings did that 2011 movie have? Too many, in our opinion. And if there’s one adaptation we wouldn’t mind committing the cardinal sin of changing the book’s ending, it would be One Day. Fingers crossed we get a conclusion that feels thoughtful and in keeping with the new show’s ‘modern’ twist on the beloved novel. Watch on Netflix from Thursday 8 February

“I watch TV and movies for a living – these are my go-to comfort series and films”

My Fat Friend

“It’s rare that I make a pilgrimage to the cinema for a documentary (I’m more of a romantic comedy devotee), but Your Fat Friend is more than worth the trip – this is a film that deserves your undivided attention,” says Stylist’s features director Meena Alexander. “Made by British filmmaker Jeanie Finlay (the woman behind Seahorse and Game Of Thrones: The Last Watch), it’s a nuanced exploration of what it means to exist as a “very fat person” in a world that refuses to make space for you. 

The film follows charismatic writer Aubrey Gordon from Portland, Oregon, whose anonymous open letter A Request From Your Fat Friend went viral in 2016, sparking a chain of events that have seen her become a prominent activist, bestselling author and host of the hit podcast Maintenance Phase. We’re offered a front-row seat as she grapples with the pressures of becoming visible as a size 30 woman in a world insistent on casting fat people as either greedy villains or objects of pity. The most glorious part is seeing that Gordon could never be either: a more vibrant and witty frontwoman you’d struggle to find. Your Fat Friend is both fun and thought-provoking viewing, challenging us all to examine the bias we might hold towards other people’s bodies – and, indeed, our own. I urge everyone to go and see it. In cinemas from 9 February

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Image credits: Hulu; Lionsgate; Netflix; Getty; Joseph Cultice; Stewart Skylar Copeland; Jeanie Finlay
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