Priyanka Chopra’s Love Again is just awful

Love Again tries to be cute and occasionally succeeds, but only when Chopra and her co-star Sam Heughan don’t seem to talk like WhatsApp forwards

'Love Again' promotional poster (photo courtesy IMDb)
'Love Again' promotional poster (photo courtesy IMDb)

Subhash K Jha

Rating: **

Priyanka Chopra’s new release Love Again, is the armpit of romcoms. It is the kind of gooey-eyed mush that one used to read in the Mills & Boon novels. That she actually thought the idea of a grieving woman reaching out to a stranger to vent her grief, could work as a rom-com in 2023 says a lot about Chopra’s script sense.

Love Again starts with Mira Ray (yes, that’s Chopra’s name, it’s like calling your NRI son Satyajit Nair) grieving for three years for her dead boyfriend.  Her Indian parents are supportive. But they want her out of the house. Mira moves to her chatty annoying kid sister’s place and secretly continues to text on her dead boyfriend’s phone for soul-comfort. But the phone now belongs to  Rob (Sam Heughan) a music critic who is assigned to interview Celine Dion.

Now hold a second. Celine Dion? What is she doing in this film? Layer after layer of skin-deep plotting peels off like dead skin to reveal a film that’s been written to shoulder Dion’s songs from films like Abba: The Movie and Mama Mia, only much less clever and adorable.

Love Again tries to be cute and occasionally succeeds, but only when Chopra and her co-star Sam Heughan don’t seem to talk like WhatsApp forwards. Their movie-date conversations are cadaverous in their stiffness and the couple seems to share almost no chemistry at all… Did the two actors meet straightaway on the sets? Did they even exchange hellos every day during shooting? Seems not.

And yet there is something not entirely disagreeable about  about Love Again. Perhaps it is the absence of cynicism while groping around the confusions of true love. Dion’s songs help. Her celestial voice irons out all the corny creases in the storytelling.

Ironically Dion’s songs are also the film’s biggest puzzle. What are they doing there? What are we doing here looking at two actors trying hard to look like people falling in love, and failing miserably.

While Chopra has become very trite and jaded in her performing proclivities, her real-life soulmate Nick Jonas makes a hilarious guest appearance as a self-obsessed date. For a while, the narrative actually feels light to the touch. Once he leaves, Chopra goes back to faking it.

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Published: 24 Sep 2023, 9:18 AM