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Film / Yesterday Once More

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Yesterday Once More is a 2016 Chinese film directed by Yoyo Yao, produced by Beijing Enlight Pictures, starrintg Guo Shutong and Bai Jingting.

Lin Tianjiao is top of the class in almost all of her subjects, spending all of her time studying instead of wasting time on distractions like her passion for astronomy. However, under the pressure of needing to get the highest score in the college entrance exams to win a prestigious award, she resorts to cheating by copying off her notes during an exam. Her notes fall on the floor, where it is noticed by Gao Xiang, a rather unmotivated student. When their teacher finds the notes on the floor, Tianjiao is about to admit that she was cheating, when Gao Xiang takes responsibility instead. Tianjiao approaches him to thank him, and he gets her to do his homework for him in return for keeping his secret. The unlikely friendship that develops leads Tianjiao to question the mindset that she has been raised on and what she really wants to do with her life.


Yesterday Once More contains examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Past: This 2016 film is set in 2001.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Gao Xiang doles out a few to Tianjiao over the course of the film.
    Gao Xiang: Class monitor, you usually have the best grades in the class. Why did you cheat?
    • He also gives one to Huang Tao when the latter tries to give him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
      Gao Xiang: Did you ever ask yourself if she was happy?
  • Be Yourself: Tianjiao's life and goals are entirely dictated by her mother, who wants her to focus on her studies and pursue a career in finance. Gao Xiang encourages her to make time for her hobbies and go back to her dream of astronomy.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: The arrogant Huang Tao never manages to confess his feelings to Tianjiao.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Tianjiao and her classmates are in their last year of high school and must decide what they want to do with their lives.
  • Disappeared Dad: Gao Xiang's father was imprisoned when he was little. The stigma of being the "son of a thief" made Gao hate his father for this until he learned not to care so much what others thought about him.
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  • Driven to Suicide: When students spot Gao Xiang on the roof, everyone thinks that he's going to kill himself, with the principal yelling that the school would address his concerns. It's subverted, however.
  • Important Haircut: Tiantian and Xiaoyang shave their heads to show their solidarity when the school administration publicly announces that they broke the rule against student dating.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Huang Tao realizes this after Gao Xiang asks him an Armor-Piercing Question.
  • Lonely at the Top: Tianjiao gives up her hobbies and hardly puts any efforts into her relationships with her best friend and her little brother, all for the sake of her studies. Enforced by her mother:
    "You only have competitors at school! No friends!"
  • Maybe Ever After: In the epilogue, Tianjiao says she applied to a project in Africa next year, where she heard Gao Xiang has gone.
  • Maintain the Lie: Downplayed. In an attempt to stop the rumors that she and Gao Xiang are romantically involved, Tianjiao leaves a love note on his desk from "Xiaohua". Their classmates comment that it looks childish. The next day, Tianjiao leaves him a bouquet of flowers. Then Gao Xiang says, loud enough for her to hear, that his girlfriend said she'd bring him breakfast too. Tianjiao complains to Tiantian that at this rate, she'll really end up being his girlfriend.
  • Missing Mom: Gao Xiang's mom died before he could walk.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Huang Tao tries to give one to Gao Xiang. The latter gives him a much better one in response.
  • Smug Snake: Huang Tao, one of the top students in the class. He feels that he's the only one worthy of Tianjiao.