One More Time (2023)

Directed by: Jonatan Etzler
Distributed by: Netflix

Write by Jeff Sparks

70/100

In “One More Time” Hedda Stiernstedt stars as Amelia, a woman who is spending her 40th birthday eating cake and drinking at a bar in the middle of the afternoon, wondering how her life got to be this lonesome. When she becomes nostalgic for her younger days she wakes up on the day of her 18th birthday. At first, she believes she’s been given a second chance. But the next day she wakes up on her 18th birthday once again. Then it happens the next day and the next day and the next day. Since its release in late April, the film has gone under the radar on Netflix with a low viewer count and little discussion about it. Part of me understands why, as this is a film that’s main formula is a tired one that has been done numerous times before. But another part of me says that this is actually a pretty solid film that’s better than much of what’s been released on streaming so far in the early part of this year. Like most of the films in its genre, “One More Time” has a healthy mix of drama and comedy that keeps the tone fun while also making for an engaging watch. The film is also self-aware about its concept, it even contains a scene where the main character watches “Groundhog Day” in an attempt to understand her situation. Unlike many of her predecessors, Amelia’s solution isn’t as simple as becoming a better person or learning from her mistakes. 

Stiernstedt really carries this film on her shoulders with a realistic performance. Even with playing a self-centered character in an impractical situation she manages to make Amelia feel grounded and relatable from start to finish. Besides the wonderful performance from Stiernstedt, the film excels in its cinematography with beautiful lighting and vibrant color grading that makes Amelia’s surroundings pop in every scene whether she’s outside on a sunny day or inside at her neon-soaked birthday bash. 2023 hasn’t been a fruitful year for film through the first four months. “One More Time” isn’t anything new. But it has enough charm and visual style to make for a good addition to a tired genre and it’s a nice way to cap off the first third of the year.

“One More Time” Trailer

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