Movie Review: I WANT YOU BACK Starring Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Scott Eastwood
Breaking up sucks.
The end of a relationship is especially rough when you aren’t the one who initiated the split. That’s what happens to Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate), two strangers who are dumped by their significant others – Anne (Gina Rodriguez) and Noah (Scott Eastwood), respectively. Both upset about their breakups at work, they retreat into the stairwell of the building they share and confide in one another about their splits. They become friends, and eventually come up with a plan to win back their exes – by sabotaging their new relationships.
Both of the leads are charismatic and extremely likable, which helps tremendously in caring about their plights. They are also both very funny, with Day’s longtime run on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Slate voicing characters in Bob’s Burgers, Big Mouth, and several other shows. The two of them have good chemistry together, and it’s really fun watching them plot the taking back of their old flames. The premise is silly, but makes for an enjoyable romantic comedy, no doubt.
Eastwood is fairly charming and does a decent job with the comedy element – especially when his character and Day’s become closer. Their escapades revolving around a leap into a hot tub are absurd, but pretty funny. Rodriguez is hilarious though, as she navigates her new relationship with Logan (Manny Jacinto from The Good Place) – an artist who is directing school plays as a stepping-stone to eventual stardom. There is a scene with the two of them and Slate where the latter is doing her best to make Rodriguez uncomfortable, and the entire situation is so awkward it brings tears of laughter.
The film takes a different approach from conventional romantic comedies, which is refreshing. The story revolves around a friendship, as the two leads work to help each other win back someone else. It’s less about the “will they, won’t they,” and more about the comedic situations they get themselves into while they figure out what they both really want out of a relationship. It’s a fun ride, and the entire cast works well together to deliver laughs.
I Want You Back makes for a great date movie, and truly feels like something different is being added to the genre. The two charismatic leads and the wonderful supporting cast do a fine job keeping us invested in the characters, and entertained from start to finish. This is going to be a fun watch for couples around Valentine’s Day for sure.
Now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.