A film severely handicaps itself when the viewers dislike everyone
by Martin Hafer
Although there are story elements to One More Time that I liked and it’s a real shame that the film hampers itself by making it so difficult for the audience to care about the folks in the picture. To me, it’s almost impossible to make a really good film given this serious handicap.
When the film begins, Jude (Amber Heard) is awakening from a one-night stand. She’s overslept and is late for work…and folks are waiting and waiting for her to arrive. Apparently, this isn’t unusual for Jude. What is unusual is her soon leaving New York City to go stay with her father, famous old-time crooner Paul Lombard (Christopher Walken). Apparently, their relationship is stormy but she has no choice as she’s about to be thrown out of her apartment for not paying her rent. But things aren’t all rosy back with dad as their relationship, and every relationship in this odd family, is severely strained. Paul is a serial philanderer who only thinks of himself, Jude’s sister is a demanding and rather high-strung young woman and the step-mother is nicknamed ‘Satan’ by her step-kids.
Through the course of the film, most of these folks remain true to their life patterns…destroying themselves and those around them. And, by the end of the film, there’s a vague suggestion that perhaps Jude is tired of all this. If this summary sounds a bit bleak and depressing, then you pretty much get the picture, though it at least has some nice singing throughout the film.
The movie has some nice acting. While I found it hard to believe Walken could be a crooner, it was an interesting character and a nice stretch for him. Heard also was able to show that she could not only act but sing rather nicely. But nice acting and an interesting location shoot in the Hamptons aren’t enough and the film is one I wouldn’t rush out to see but might perhaps might catch when it appears on Netflix one day when you are looking for an undemanding film. Not bad….but also not particularly enjoyable either.