Isaac Aptaker, Elizabeth Berger
Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Scott Eastwood
Rated: R for language, sexual material, some drug use and partial nudity.
All media used courtesy of Amazon Studios
Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate) both just got dumped, and they are complete messes. Both work in the same building, and after hearing each other sobbing in the stairwell decide to commiserate together. After they learn about each others desires to get back together with their ex’s, Peter and Emma propose a way to get them back. By setting them up so that their current relationships crumble, sending their love back into their arms. But have they started developing feelings for each other during their plotting?
Coming after ‘Marry Me’ I was hesitant jumping into another romantic comedy film, but movies are always teaching me lessons, and this is no different. There’s a big difference between when a film feels genuine and has genuine moments to it vs manufactured. Not only does I Want You Back accomplish that genuineness in it’s story and performances, but it’s a perfect film to watch during the romantic holidays.
Both Charlie Day and Jenny Slate give heartfelt and hilarious performances. Both actors here do not get their just credit for how charming and funny they are, and I love that they are able to be utilized to their fullest potential. Each character has struggles, or even lack of motivations that led to their break-ups. Peter is too afraid to start something on his own, and Emma is trapped in the same life, living with roommates younger than her who are always eager for her to leave the apartment. Director Jason Orley does a wonderful job of weaving those motivations into the story.
I loved watching their characters both try to engage with each others romantic interests (played by Gina Rodriguez and Scott Eastwood) and their new romantic interests (played by Manny Jacinto and Clark Backo). All the supporting roles are great, on the surface they don’t seem to have a lot to them, but the humor in the situations are great.
The stories premise is unique but familiar, and though there are some moments that are tropes of the genre, they are done in a way that feels refreshing. Perhaps the runtime can be cut down a little, and the ending could be a little stronger. But this is still one I had a great time watching. I was laughing throughout, and think that this is the film for your Valentines weekend to check out.