You could put together all the rom-coms one may have watched in your lifetime and the result would be James C. Strouse's Love Again.
There is nothing extraordinary or even slightly different about this girl-meets-boy trope; everything is so predictable and obvious that you might feel you've already watched this multiple times before. Here is Mira (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) who's lost her boyfriend John to a car accident two years back and cannot get over him.
In a state of despair and as a coping strategy she starts conversing with him via his number which is reassigned to the work phone of a music critic Rob Burns (Sam Heughan). Mira begins to pour her heart out to Burns, thinking that she's communicating with John. Burns, on his part, single and critical of lovey-dovey romances, finds himself being pulled in by the mysterious texts which somehow seem to be speaking straight to his heart. He never replies to her texts; only reads them and over a period of time even connects with them.
Now, the point is to somehow make him less cynical and more believing in love and to do that, we have the legendary Celine Dion whose soul-touching ballards are everything love and red hearts. As a journalist of the New York Chronicle, he is to interview Dion and that interaction sparks in him the fire to find out this mysterious girl who's been sending him texts; who knows maybe she's the one for him after all!
While the premise is a total pull-in, it is the execution that fails the viewer.
A remake of the German film SMS fur Dich—based on Sofie Cramer’s novel by the same—Love Again is aimed at being a romance saga dipped in sugar syrup but actually ends up being a snoozefest. Most of all because its dialogues fail to have any impact - they lack humour, punch and a natural delivery. Because the film is slow paced, we'd have liked for its protagonists to keep us hooked via interesting, meaningful and intellectual conversations since their time together makes up for most of the film. In fact, Dion is the only one we'd have liked to see more of because she is her natural best on the big screen. She's sarcastic, no-nonsense and quick witted. During her meetings with Rob, she instills in him the confidence to find new love post his broken engagement and the courage to seek someone out.
Yet, the viewer is left wanting for more. We'd have liked to know more about Mira and Rob, we'd have loved for them to have more "engaging conversations," and explore love on so many emotional levels. Love Again doesn’t care to explore this aspect.
Movie: Love Again (English)
Director: James C. Strouse
Cast: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan, Celine Dion