Starting Over Again is a Filipino romantic comedy film directed by Olivia M. Lamasan starring Toni Gonzaga, Piolo Pascual, and Iza Calzado. It is produced and distributed by Star Cinema as part of its 20th anniversary. It officially premiered in the Philippines on February 12, 2014. The film was an instant box-office success earning 25 million pesos on its opening day. On March 3, 2014, eighteen days after its theatrical release, the film earned a total domestic gross of 360 million pesos. The development began eight months prior the release date with a working title of "Unlove You." The film was written by Carmi Raymundo who was behind some of Star Cinema films like It Takes a Man and a Woman released in 2013, and Bride for Rent released in January 2014. According to Raymundo, her vision of the film was to stray away from traditional Filipino love story which is too mainstream already in the Philippine' market, so the film was created with an aim to tell a love story with a twist. Meanwhile, it was directed and produced by Olivia Lamasan, the woman behind successful films such as Madrasta (1996), Minsan, Minahal Kita (2000), Milan (2004), In My Life (2009), In the Name of Love (2011) and The Mistress (2012). According to Lamasan, the film was a story of a lover wishing a second chance. Despite being the head of ABS-CBN's creative department, Lamasan was told to do a film that would fit Pascual, in order to make the reunion worth it since they hadn't did any project for the last decade.
The film also serves as a reunion not only with Pascual and Lamasan, but to the lead actor and actress too, wherein 13 years ago, they have been together in a soda commercial. On an article by Crispina Martinez - Belen of the Manila Bulletin, it was stated that Malou Santos personally chose Gonzaga to portray the lead role.
Starting Over Again red carpet premiere in the Philippines was attended by its principal cast members in SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City on February 10, 2014. The film was then commercially screened on February 12, 2014. The film also had a North American premiere held at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, California, United States on February 15, 2014. It was then released commercially starting February 21 to 27 in the United States, February 21 to March 6 in Canada, on March 6 in Australia and the Middle East, specifically in Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain.
According to a review by Bubbles Salvador of the Philippine Entertainment Portal on February 15, 2014, Salvador praised the film for having all elements of a romantic movie. It was well directed by renowned director, it had great chemistry between the lead actors, and there were funny scenes that will surely provide few laughs. Salvador also added, "But it seems that’s all there is to it as the film clearly chose stick to the tried and tested formula, leaving viewers with nothing new. That is, aside from the fact that the movie veers from the typical love story timeline (boy meets girl, they get together, girl leaves boy, they get back together), plus there's also an attempt to put a twist to the ending." Salvador's reviews were also similar to Rito P. Asilo's reviews of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Asilo wrote, "The film’s romantic three-way premise is by no means original, but Lamasan makes it work because she has no trouble making its fusion of potent drama and self-deprecating comedy (a running gag about the Virgin Mary is particularly hilarious) settle into a coherent and "relatable" story that doesn't undermine viewers' intelligence and sense of morality." Aya Tantiangco's reviews of Spot.PH noted the film's similarity with One More Chance in terms of story and character. Tantiangco awarded the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and said that it is "funny" and well-written romantic-comedy flick. However, she criticizes Gonzaga's character as "shallow," but notified Pascual's character as "mature" and "outstanding."
Zig Marasigan of Rappler praised how the pacing of the movie goes, that makes the audience realize that a perfect love story can also have flaws. He also called the story "realistic, satisfying, and brave". However, he criticizes the film's tone and said that it is questionable inserting a comedy in a dramatic and painful scene. Florence Hibionada of The Daily Guardian said that the scenes are "memorable" and worth it. She also noted the film's unpredictability and sense of direction. Rianne Hill Soriano of Yahoo! Voices expressed dismay on most scenes that she described as "annoying." She criticizes the pre-climax scenes as "lame" and the hospital scene for the character's closure as "disappointing." Philbert Ortiz-Dy of ClickTheCity.com awarded the film 2 stars out of 5 and states that the supposedly mature film turned to a completely novice-made one. He also stressed that it "failed to take its own advice," wherein the film ended up the old way