In Jackie & Ryan, Katherine Heigl plays a woman at a crossroads. Her Manhattan marriage has fallen apart and she’s moved back to Utah to put her life back togther while she battles her soon-to-be ex for custody of their daughter. Once upon a time, she was a singing sensation, so she can’t help but stop and listen to the handsome busker played by Ben Barnes. He’s just passing through, a train-hopping throwback living life one day at a time.
“Jackie & Ryan is about musicians struggling to find their voice in their lives, both literally and metaphorically,” said writer/director Ami Canaan Mann, who came up with the idea after meeting Austin street musicians during the SXSW Film Festival. “What drew me to tell this story is that I wanted to platform folks who strive to be excellent craftspeople simply for the sake of being excellent craftspeople, rather than for money or publicity. I have a tremendous amount of respect for that work ethic.”
Jackie & Ryan, which debuted at last fall’s Venice Film Festival, will open in theaters on July 3. Heigl and Barnes, co-stars from The Big Wedding, performed their own singing, and the trailer at least seems to capture a little Once magic.