I love a great Rom-Com. And when I watched the trailer, this particular romantic comedy looked extremely intriguing, with a potentially different plot and unique characters. After watching the film, I found the premise offbeat, the acting fantastic and the comedy elements are on point. This is one romantic comedy done right.
I Want You Back is a romantic comedy directed by Jason Orley from a screenplay by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. In this 2022 film, two individuals in their thirties, Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate), are dumped by their respective partners, Anne (Gina Rodriguez) and Noah (Scott Eastwood). Unwilling to admit their relationships are over and fearing they’ll be alone forever, they decide the best plan is to work together to destroy their exes’ new relationships. Peter has moved on to a bakery owner, Ginny (Clark Backo) and Gina is dating a fellow teacher, Logan (Manny Jacinto). Peter and Emma bond over their efforts but will they be successful or will it all fall apart, even their new friendship?
What makes this film so enjoyable is the comedic elements. While it is very situational humor, the actors deliver those beats perfectly. Every awkward moment makes for a hilarious scene. Part of the comedy is how Peter and Emma insert themselves into the relationships. Emma helps Logan with the school drama and ends up counseling a student. Peter hires Noah as his personal trainer and has to get comfortable with physical exertion. Besides the physical comedy, there are some brilliant and funny lines in the movie. There are also some insightful lines that help all the characters be relatable and genuine. The comedy is the best feature of the film.
While the romantic elements are more predictable, there are some offbeat and less traditional variations on the typical theme. Instead of one couple, we see relationships play out for three couples. Emma and Peter’s friendship does not follow the traditional pattern and as they work to get those past relationships, events don’t go as planned. Both learn and grow throughout the film which is a rarity.
Those relationships are the key to the film’s premise and critical to its success. The dynamics between all the actors are phenomenal. Not only do Emma and Peter have great humor between them, but the friendship has believable chemistry. Yet, there is also a genuine feeling to the relationship between Peter (Charlie Day) and Anne (Gina Rodriguez). Every tie, Anne to Logan, Anne to Peter, and Emma to Logan feels believable and realistic. The romance between Noah and Ginny soars off the charts and is unexpected in a film where two characters are trying to win back the relationship they had.
That believable chemistry comes down to the actors and their performances. Charlie Day and Jenny Slate are both incredibly funny and relatable. Every person alive has had a relationship end and wanted that ex back. Both actors balance the comedy and romantic pieces of the film perfectly. Gina Rodriguez is funny and warm as Anne. Though her character dumps Peter, you can understand why, even as you understand why even while you see why Peter struggles with it. Clint Eastwood and Clark Backo have amazing chemistry, a beautiful portrayal of a romantic relationship and have an ability to be the foil the humor bounces off of. Manny Jacinto is as funny in this film as he was in “The Good Place”. He is comedic gold and between leads Charlie Day and Jenny Slate, he adds the most humor to the movie. Every cast member helps to make this film funny and fun.
While the film is predictable, it is funny and fun. Even though the story isn’t a new idea and you expect the romance to go certain ways, the story changes up the beats just enough to be original and slightly different. If you love romantic comedies, this is one you will want to watch. The comedy is creative, clever, and hysterical. The actors are skilled, funny, and have fantastic chemistry with each other. Charlie Day and Jenny Slate are both solid leads and infuse their characters with believable qualities that add to the humor and make for a fun romance. I loved the cast and film. This was truly an enjoyable experience.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 plots.
I Want You Back
Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate) are total strangers, but when they meet, one thing instantly bonds them: they were both unexpectedly dumped by their respective partners, Anne (Gina Rodriguez) and Noah (Scott Eastwood), on the same weekend. As the saying goes, “misery loves company,” but their commiseration turns into a mission when they see on social media that their exes have happily moved on to new romances, Anne with Logan (Manny Jacinto) and Noah with Ginny (Clark Backo).
Terrified that, in their 30s, they have lost their shot at happily ever after and horrified at the prospect of having to start over, Peter and Emma hatch a desperate plot to win the loves of their lives back. Each will do whatever it takes to put an end to their exes’ new relationships and send them running back to their arms.
The ensemble cast of I WANT YOU BACK also includes Luke David Blumm, Isabel May, Jami Gertz, Dylan Gelula, and Mason Gooding. Amazon Studios will release I WANT YOU BACK on Prime Video on February 11th, 2022.
ONE-LINER: Newly dumped thirty-somethings Peter and Emma team up to sabotage their exes’ new relationships and win them back for good.