Was “Love Again” cute, cheesy, and romantic? Yes. Would I recommend it to friends? I am not sure. It’s definitely not the kind of flick that would prompt you to send a “hey, I saw this nice romance film, you should check it out” text to someone. And yes, I do that with friends and family; just a few days ago, I recommended Netflix’s “Love at First Sight” to two different people.
If you were to meet a bunch of Indians who grew up in the 90s, didn’t listen to English songs, and knew only a handful of hits, I bet ‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion from ‘Titanic’ would be one of them. Celine is an icon, there’s no argument there, but the necessity of her role in the 2023 romantic movie “Love Again” as herself is very debatable. The film is about two heartbroken strangers falling in love with each other, and Celine’s songs in the background would’ve been enough. But instead, she plays a singer plus therapist/matchmaker to journalist Rob Burns (Sam Heughan), who becomes attracted to a woman continually sending personal messages to his new work number, which once belonged to her deceased boyfriend.
“Director Jim Strouse co-wrote the script for ‘Love Again’ with Sofie Cramer and Andrea Willson. It’s amusing that despite at least three people sharing credit for the script, they couldn’t find a better way to incorporate Celine Dion into the film. Priyanka Chopra plays protagonist Mira Ray and she is quite endearing as a children’s author struggling to cope with her boyfriend’s demise. Sam Heughan on the other hand was charming as Rob Burns, the journalist who crushes hard on a woman he hasn’t even met yet.
While the whole premise about a young woman sending text to her dead fiance’s phone number and forming a connection with the man who has been reassigned the number is a nice plot for a sweet sentimental romance, it was very random to have a singing sensation play cupid for the two of them. I just cannot get over how random Celine’s role in “Love Again” was, even though I am a huge fan of the singer. To Celine’s credit, she is fantastic and diva-like in the film, and teaches Rob Burns a thing or two about love and even opens up about her relationship about her late husband René Angélil. If the writers could’ve just tweaked the script a little and made Rob Burns as journalist friend of Celine, the story might have felt more believable. Although, I am sure there are a lot of viewers who would love this film for its fictitious grandness.
The primary theme of the film revolves around giving love a second chance, poignantly expressed through the stories of both protagonists. While Mira is taking time to grieve an irreplaceable loss, Rob Burns isn’t over the breakup with his ex, who dumped him a week before their wedding. Watching two people who have experienced crushing heartbreak find love again is inspiring, even if it’s just a fictional tale. ‘Love Again’ has a warm and engaging first half but begins to feel a little slow in the second half, mostly due to some of the ornamental dialogues that lack conversational nature. Some of Mira and Rob’s conversations are overly bookish and lack the spontaneous charm of easygoing banter. While the ending conflict is predictable, the resolution is delivered in true Hollywood romance style—through a grand gesture. The key take away from this Priyanka Chopra, Sam Heughan and (weirdly) Celine Dion film? The heart does go on!
Rating: 6 on 10. Stream “Love Again” on Netflix if you want to watch a soft, sentimental romantic movie.
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