‘Love Again’: Priyanka, Celine Shine in Rom-Com

By Shalini Langer

With Celine Dion playing Cupid, counsellor, serenader-in-chief and producer in this film, does love have an option but to burst forth in song and opera, and tick off everything from cheeseburgers to cheesy lines?

But if this rom-and-only-some-com has anything going in the department of rom-coms, it is that it is clearly a Dion vehicle, featuring her film debut, as herself.

For us natives, it is also a chance to appreciate how smoothly Priyanka Chopra Jonas slips into this role, and does a fair job of it — not trying too hard, at something that is not to be tried hard at anyway.

Jonas is Mira Ray, an award-winning illustrator who sees the love of her life die in front of her eyes, run over by a drunk driver. That can be hard for one, made harder by the director’s decision to keep the camera lingering on Jonas’s surprisingly impassive face.

Two years later, Mira is still moping, but is also easy to cheer up. A lot of that heavy burden of lifting Mira’s spirits is done by her sister Suzy (Barclay), and Barclay is pretty lovable even as a second fiddle.

The premise of the film is that Mira decides to pour her heart out to John’s mobile number, and ends up connecting to a newspaper music critic, Rob (Heughan), who has presumably got John’s number now.

One thing leads to another, and then to Dion as Rob has been assigned the task of doing a profile of the Canadian singer, who is making her first US tour in a decade.

Dion is as unapologetic about her love advice in the film as she is in her conspicuous love songs. And because she is such a sport about it, both owning her legacy while poking fun at it, she makes the improbable premise work. And gets to talk about her love and loss in the process.

Nick Jonas too does a chuckling turn as a silly gym-obsessed disastrous date of Mira.

It’s the couple at the heart then who remain too sincere, earnest and run-of-the-mill to make us care either way.

‘Love makes you do crazy things’ is one of the advice the film lends, usually accompanied by a maudlin musical score.

Crazy, Mira and Rob are not.

Director: Jim Strouse
Cast: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan, Celine Dion, Sofia Barclay
Rating: 2 stars