One and the same day, over and over again: In HELLO AGAIN – ONE DAY FOREVER Young Zazie has to somehow get away from her best friend’s wedding. But only when she has found her own happiness. We reveal more about the film in our review.
OT: Hello Again (DE 2020)
Zazie (Alicia von Rittberg) lives with her two best friends Anton (Edin Hasanovic) and Patrick (Samuel Schneider) in a shared apartment for people who are unable to have relationships. Since the nights are long but life is too short, it’s best to avoid the trouble with love right away. The invitation to the wedding of her former best friend Philipp (Tim Oliver Schultz) and her arch rival Franziska (Emilia Schüle) not only overflows the mailbox in the shared apartment. Zazie must save her old friend from making the mistake of his life. Her attempt to sabotage the wedding fails miserably and, to make matters worse, repeatedly! A love fairy tale of a different kind leads Zazie into a never-ending wedding waltz that completely shakes up her attitude towards love.
Time loop films all work according to the same basic scheme: a person relives a day over and over again. Point. Variations of any kind are of course possible; Sometimes a young woman has to hunt down a masked killer on the way to normality (“Happy Death Day”), other times Tom Cruise has to use the repeating days to save the world (“Edge of Tomorrow”). Now three films are being released within a year that set their time loop gimmick in the same scenery – that of a wedding day. It went wrong for Netflix (“Love Wedding Repeat”), but went really well for Hulu (“Palm Springs”). And now director and author Maggie Peren is doing it (“This stupid heart”) to work to present their variation on the familiar premise. And although, unlike “Palm Springs” author Andy Siara, she only partially succeeds in adding new facets to this basic idea, her “Hello Again – A Day Forever” still feels fresh. This is mainly due to their wonderfully playful ensemble, but also to the equally romantic and thoroughly realistic view of amorous interaction.
Zazie (Alicia von Rittberg) doesn’t want her best friend Philipp (Tim Oliver Schultz) to marry someone else.
Basically, “Hello Again” is something like the complete renovation and modernization of the 1990s romantic classic “My Best Friend’s Wedding”. In it, the main character, played by Julia Roberts, doesn’t want to admit that her best friend is marrying someone other than her – even though there was never a serious romantic relationship between the two. In “Hello Again”, the protagonist Zazie also learns out of the blue about the impending marriage of her kindergarten friend Philipp, who not only doesn’t want to marry her, but also the former school beast Franziska. Maggie Peren takes no prisoners in the structure of her story: After a short introduction to her main character, whom we get to know in just a few scenes as an equally planned and lovable chaotic, we find ourselves directly at the wedding event held on a ship and have to watch how Zazie first finds herself drunk uncontrollably and ultimately ruined what was supposed to be the most beautiful day in the bride and groom’s life. At this point the film demands strong nerves for a moment: both for a scene in which Zazie pukes on Franziska’s wedding dress in slow motion and for the shot in which her best friend Anton crashes headfirst into the multi-tiered wedding cake. So much calculated, cheap slapstick right at the beginning – does that have to be the case? And aren’t we long past jokes involving cake and vomit?
“Basically, ‘Hello Again’ is something like the complete renovation and modernization of the 1990s romantic classic ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’.”
Yes we are. And that’s why it’s just called: grit your teeth. Because this first of many more wedding days is the “catastrophe” variant. Everything that goes wrong goes wrong. Zazie embarrasses herself and everyone else. But the next day the cards are reshuffled. And with them and the events at the wedding also the film itself, which from now on abandons gross motor humor and actually concentrates entirely on the interaction of its characters and the subtle changes in the relationship between Zazie and Anton. At its core, “Hello Again” is – unsurprisingly – a classic love film. The first plus point is that someone is finally telling a classic cinematic love story (which is based on no known original!). And the second for the fact that the actually quite predictable outcome of the story has some nice twists with the help of the time loop gimmick and also adds a good dose of wink to the whole thing. This doesn’t mean that the creator would make fun of her characters at any point. But the fantasy superstructure relaxes any potentially clichéd scene. Because of course the things that happen in every romantic comedy at some point also happen in “Hello Again”. But since the events are limited to a single day that repeats itself countless times, that’s no wonder. At some point you have simply played through every scenario imaginable once.
… and the wedding anniversary greets you every day.
It starts with the aforementioned slapstick fireworks. Later, Zazie tries many other ways to somehow prevent the marriage. Sometimes chance plays into your hands – in the middle of the film, “Hello Again” can even surprise you with a real twist. At other times, the young woman takes direct action against the bride, engaging in small intrigues or making grandiose, romantic statements to the groom. Alicia von Rittberg (“Rate your Date”) embodies her character, whose quick-wittedness has been continuously strengthened through constant repetitions, wonderfully natural and full of self-irony. Especially in combination with Edin Hasanovic (“Lara”) She is in control of what’s happening on screen every second – rarely has it been so much fun to root for someone who is hopelessly in love. The chemistry between the two is also Samuel Schneider (“Asphalt Gorillas”) For a few scenes, “Hello Again” also becomes a very charming film about friendship and shared life – it is so thrilling that it allows the viewer to overlook one or two weaknesses.
“Alicia von Rittberg embodies her character, whose quick-wittedness has been continuously strengthened through constant repetition, in a wonderfully natural and full of self-irony manner.”
Why people attribute Anton to having a sleeping sickness that causes him to suddenly fall asleep every now and then (and then end up in the cake, for example) is unclear. On the contrary: such a blatant gag sells the film far short of its worth. And also the figure drawing by “Bridezilla” Emilia Schüle (“High Society”) It doesn’t fit with the fact that the characters actually make a real effort not to use mere stereotypes.
Conclusion: In “Hello Again – A Day Forever,” director and author Maggie Peren uses the well-known time loop motif for a funny and warm-hearted comedy about a young woman who has to live through someone else’s wedding day over and over again in order to find her own happiness.
“Hello Again – A Day Forever” can be seen in USA cinemas from September 17th.