Love Again parents guide

Love Again Parent Guide

The romance is just window dressing for product placements and an advertorial for Celine Dion's career.

Overall C-

Theaters: Trying to cope with the death of her fiance, a woman begins texting his old number and makes a connection with the man to whom the number has been reassigned.

Release date May 5, 2023

Violence B
Sexual Content C+
Profanity C-
Substance Use C+

Why is Love Again rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Love Again PG-13 for some sexual material and some strong language.

Run Time: 104 minutes

Parent Movie Review

When her boyfriend John (Arinzé Kene) is killed in front of her, Mira (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) withdraws into grief. She exiles herself to the countryside for two years before returning to New York City and her career as a children’s book author and illustrator. Unable to find inspiration in her work or peace in her personal life, she starts texting John’s old number to find release for her turbulent emotions.

Rob Burns (Sam Heughan) just received a new work phone from his employer and suddenly starts receiving heartfelt texts from an anonymous number. The music critic is cynical about love, but the sincerity and eloquence of the texts touch his heart, and he develops feelings for the writer. Following clues in the texts, the intrepid journalist finds a way to meet her, and soon Rob and Mira discover that it’s possible to love again. But is it possible to stay together when deceit lies at the heart of the relationship?

There’s no dancing around the truth: Love Again hits hard on the mediocrity scale. Most romances are predictable (happy endings are part of the formula) but it doesn’t feel like the screenwriters or cast are putting in much of an effort. Priyanka Chopra Jonas projects sincerity and warmth but Sam Heughan seems to have two emotions: petulance and regret. As for Céline Dion, she’s so flat her role could be replaced by an animated stick figure. To be fair, her dialogue is ridiculous - since when do celebrities become relationship coaches for the journalists who are interviewing them? None of her conversations with Rob pass the believability test.

Given Ms. Dion’s personal tragedies and recent medical disclosure, it feels cruel to criticize her, but I have no choice here. The famed vocalist is an executive producer on this film, which means she paid for its production. Basically, Love Again serves as a big budget, glossy advertorial for Ms. Dion. The movie repeatedly plays her songs, praises her as an icon, and contains scenes in which she offers advice as some kind of love guru/relationship counselor. (Regrettably, this big-screen self-promotion seems to be a trend, given that famed athlete Tom Brady did the same thing earlier this year with 80 for Brady, a movie which exalted him as an inspiring quarterback for hard life decisions.) As if the self-promotion of Ms. Dion weren’t bad enough, the movie also manages to provide product placements for Soul Cycle, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and Skittles (a big plus for the candy, which also nailed multiple mentions in Shazam! Fury of the Gods this spring).

If you’re not averse to watching Hallmark-level acting or paying to watch ads for products and celebrities, the rest of the content hits the PG-13 rating with a single sexual expletive, several scenes of passionate kissing, a post-coital scene where bedsheets carefully cover sexual anatomy, and some alcohol consumption. The most negative issue, though, is at the center of the plot. When Rob starts receiving the texts from Mira, he doesn’t politely reply that he’s not who she thinks he is. Captivated and curious, he keeps reading the texts she is writing to her lost boyfriend. He is both selfish and dishonest, prioritizing his own personal gratification over her right to privacy and grief. It’s not a pretty picture and, frankly, I think the script lets him off too easily.

On the plus side, the movie includes themes about the dangers of dishonesty, the power to heal emotionally, and the strength that can be found in strong sibling relationships. If you’re a devoted fan of romance movies or Ms. Dion, this movie might set your heart a-flutter. As for me, the non-stop advertising and blatant selfishness just make me shudder.

Directed by Jim Strouse. Starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan, Celine Dion. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release May 5, 2023. Updated

Watch the trailer for Love Again

Love Again
Rating & Content Info

Why is Love Again rated PG-13? Love Again is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some sexual material and some strong language.

Violence: A fatal car accident, caused by a drunk driver, is heard but not seen. Angry people yell in a couple of scenes. A woman punches a man in the throat when he startles her in her apartment.
Sexual Content: There are scenes of a man and woman kissing passionately. A man picks up another man in a bar who mentions “getting laid” but nothing else happens on screen. A man and woman make out: they kiss and he fondles her breast before she tells him to slow down. He leaves when he learns she doesn’t want to have sex. A woman tells a man he can “have his way with her”: they are later seen waking up in bed, strategically covered with sheets. A man’s bear chest is seen in the shower and in a post-coital scene in bed.
Profanity: The script contains a single sexual expletive, eight scatological curses, a half dozen terms of deity, and a couple of minor profanities and anatomical terms. A slang expression for sex is also heard multiple things.
Alcohol / Drug Use:   Adults drink alcohol at social events, in celebration, and also when they are sad and lonely.

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Love Again Parents' Guide

Why doesn’t Rob respond appropriately when he starts receiving the texts? Why doesn’t he tell Mira? What do his excuses tell you about his personality? How does Mira interpret his decision? Do you agree with her?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

There are numerous other films about recovering from the loss of a partner. In P.S. I Love You, Holly is bereft when her husband dies – but he prerecorded messages to be delivered to her death. These are comforting, but they make it difficult for her to move on.

In All My Life, an engaged couple faces a setback when the groom-to-be is diagnosed with cancer – but that isn’t enough to stop their love story.

While he’s deployed, John and his girlfriend Savannah stay together through correspondence in Dear John.