MANILA, PHILIPPINES — “It feels to me like the classic romcoms that you just don’t see anymore,” said Esther Hornstein, the producer of Love Again, a new love story opening exclusively in SM Cinemas on May 10. “Two heartbroken people in New York City — with different reasons for their heartbreak — find their way to each other, one knowingly, the other unknowingly. It has a lot of heart and very real characters.”
One of those characters is Rob Burns, a music journalist who falls in love with the unknown woman who has been sending romantic messages to his work cell phone number without knowing that the number — which used to belong to her late fiancé — is currently being used by another person.
Playing the romantic male lead is Sam Heughan, who rose to international fame thanks to his starring role in the popular drama Outlander. Priyanka Chopra Jonas stars opposite Heughan as Mira Ray. Celine Dion is also in the movie, playing herself and the subject of Rob’s writing assignment.
“He’s a Scotsman who’s been living in New York for so long that he’d call himself a New Yorker,” said Heughan of his character. “He’s a music journalist who’s still pretty depressed about being left at the altar a year earlier. Then Mira comes into his life and changes everything.”
For Heughan, preparing to play the lead in a romantic comedy wasn’t just getting ready for a role – it was opening up a whole world of film. “I started watching lots of romantic comedies, which I’d avoided over the years because I thought they weren’t for me. But as soon as I started to watch them, I fell in love with them,” he said. “They’re brilliant, they’re adult, they’re funny, they’re dark – it was a revelation to me. And I think this movie is an homage or nod to that tradition.”
Preparation also was a chance for the actor to walk in the shoes of a music snob who gets his comeuppance in the form of the Queen of Power Ballads. “It was a fun movie to prep for,” he said. “Jim sent me a playlist of very contemporary music – and it was pretty challenging music because Rob is a bit of an academic. He’s a cynic, a critical music snob who falls for the music of Celine Dion. At first, he only hears these songs on the surface – he thinks they’re overly embellished, overly romantic. But it turns out there’s truth to them. These songs really move him when he opens himself up to them. That’s a really nice journey to go on with the character.”
“Sam is so thoughtful about everything,” said producer Hornstein. “Sam made Rob a complicated guy — not your average romantic comedy prince who’s there to save Mira.”
Love Again is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, the local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Connect with the hashtag #LoveAgainMovie.