Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)
Lonely, miserable, and stuck in a menial retail job, Amelia wistfully remembers her 18th birthday party on her 40th birthday and wishes she were a teenager again. A freak accident fulfills her desire, and she wakes up in her childhood home on the day she turned 18. Is this her chance to start over?
Directed by Jonathan Etzler, the 2023 Swedish Netflix movie “One More Time” stars Hedda Stiernstedt as the jaded Amelia, who keeps reliving her 18th birthday and doesn’t know how to break the loop. The plot is similar to the 2019 Netflix comedy “Little,” where a woman in her 30s reverts back to her thirteen-year-old self, but “One More Time” also incorporates a “Groundhog Day” style time-loop twist. The 1993 classic not only gets a mention in Etzler’s film, but the protagonist also watches the Bill Murray flick in hopes of finding a way to break the loop.
The cinematography is colorful, bright, and has a very 80s/90s aesthetic, reminiscent of films like “Clueless” and “Romy And Michele’s High School Reunion.” The first half was slightly irritating, largely because 40-year-old Amelia behaves like an idiot when she wakes up as her younger self. There are very few traces of her adult self, despite her friends claiming that she talks like their moms. Back in time, Amelia tries to make her relationship with boyfriend Max (Maxwell Cunningham) last longer and also attempts to repair her fractured friendship with former bestie Fiona (Miriam Ingrid). Despite getting multiple shots at the same day, she isn’t able to ‘fix’ much.
While the friendship theme is sweet, “One More Time” fails to capitalize on the comedy potential of the time-loop genre. It does have some great fun moments, and Miriam Ingrid is a lot more likable in her smaller cameo as the unpopular student rejected by her childhood friend than Hedda Stiernstedt’s selfish, self-centered teen Amelia. The peppy music helps uplift the mood of the script, and the flashy colors make things more engaging too.
Overall, “One More Time” is a decent one-time-watch that puts its focus on friendships, family, and the importance of staying grounded.
I would rate it a 6 out of 10. Stream it on Netflix.