One More Time (2015)

  • Time: 95 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Music
  • Director: Robert Edwards
  • Cast: Christopher Walken, Amber Heard, Kelli Garner


Rattling around in his mansion in the Hamptons, faded Sinatraesque crooner and notorious ladies man Paul Lombard stews over the acclaim that eluded him in his career and the trail of romantic wreckage he left in his wake. Matters are complicated when his punk rocker daughter Jude arrives in need of a place to stay and burdened with problems of her own….including a rivalry with her overachieving sister, her own ruinous love life, and above all, a fraught relationship with her famous father.

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  • A pleasant and prickly dysfunctional family drama, One More Time (originally titled When I Live My Life Over Again) focuses on the Lombard family as they gather in the Hamptons for a family reunion.

    There’s patriarch Paul (Christopher Walken), a former crooner embarking on a career comeback. He has never truly let go of his glory days, spending his time surrounded by framed photographs of himself and his records, regaling anyone within earshot of his various escapades, and constantly editing and re-editing his Wikipedia page. He’s currently married to Lucille (Ann Magnuson), though he hasn’t exactly curbed his womanising ways. With his endless string of infidelities and stints in and most of his life spent on the road, he hasn’t exactly been the best father to his two daughters, Jude (Amber Heard) and Corinne (Kelli Garner), a fact constantly thrown in his face by the former who blames him for how messed up she’s become. His response: “It didn’t do that to Corinne.”

    Indeed, Corinne’s stability as a wife, mother and career woman are in stark contrast to the pink-haired Jude’s. About to be thrown out of her apartment, faced with the barest of professional prospects, and frustrated yet clinging to the affair she’s having with her married therapist, Jude practically vibrates with bitterness and resentment. It doesn’t help that Corinne is married to Tim (Hamish Linklater), who was Jude’s former boyfriend. Nor does it help that everyone, most irritatingly Paul, bemoans her musical skills going to waste.

    Though writer-director Robert Edwards emphasises the dynamic between Paul and Jude, the real point of interest is Corinne. She may have the perfect life, but she’ll always be an outsider because she doesn’t possess the musical gene her father and sister share. It’s clear that Jude, despite all the issues she has, is her father’s favourite. In many respects, Corinne is the most difficult role in the film as it’s almost one-note by default – the little sister complaining that she never got the love she deserved. Garner, however, shades the character so well that the heart breaks at her dismay.

    Edwards also injects refreshing touches in the essentially rote narrative. Though Jude may be irritated by Corinne’s life, she doesn’t necessarily wish for it. She’s not brooding for a baby and, though she and Tim share a moment, it’s more a result of her mistaking comfortability for emotional intimacy. Heard may be at her most engaging in One More Time, and she shares many a good moment with the incomparable Walken.

    One More Time also eschews dramatic fireworks, instead ensuring that the sparring is balanced and relatable. The result is a charming and bittersweet film that may be familiar but is nonetheless worth a watch.

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