‘I Want You Back’ review: The next great rom-com is exactly what we wanted


Directed by Jason Orley, I Want You Back stars Charlie Day and Jenny Slate as unlikely friends who team up to win back their exes by any means necessary.

I Want You Back, the newest addition to the rom-com genre is the perfect watch for Valentine’s Day weekend. This film from Amazon Studios, starring Charlie Day and Jenny Slate, proves that the genre is far from extinct. With great writing from Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger and stellar performances from the cast, I Want You Back pushes the envelope toward the hilariously absurd while remaining grounded in the reality of its main characters. 

Day plays Peter, a VP working in creating funding for retirement home services. Anne (Gina Rodriguez), his girlfriend of six years, breaks off their relationship in search of something more adventurous. She finds it in her colleague and drama teacher Logan (Manny Jacinto). Slate plays Emma, a woman working as a receptionist for an orthodontist. Her boyfriend Noah (Scott Eastwood) breaks things off a year into their relationship after meeting his successful new girlfriend Ginny (Clark Backo). 

The meet-cry between Emma and Peter occurs in the stairwell of the building where they both work. Bonding over their heartbreak turns into a night of drinking and karaoke. The comedic chemistry between Day and Slate is palpable in this early scene as they belt out songs like When a Man Loves a Woman and You Oughta Know. Their connection over heartbreak leads to a complex plan to help each other win back their exes. Emma agrees to seduce Logan by volunteering for his middle school production of Little Shop of Horrors to break him and Anne up. Peter, meanwhile, strikes up a friendship with Noah by signing up for some training sessions at the gym where he works. 

During this process, Peter and Emma learn more about each other, but also the root of their respective relationship problems. Is love instantaneous, or is it more of a slow burn? As their antic escalate, the joy of I Want You Back is in its dashes of unpredictability amidst the usual romantic comedy formula that makes it so enjoyable to watch. From wild, Molly-fueled nights out to awkward sexual propositions, I Want You Back has more to say about modern love than you might think.

Day and Slate deliver brilliantly, as they often do, in the comedic beats of the film. Their turn as romantic leads, however, is where the film truly finds its heart. Their connection is sweet; they believe in each other and push each other out of their comfort zones in increasingly hilarious ways. Whether you’re going through a breakup or falling in love, you’ll like be coming back to this one over and over again. 

I Want You Back is currently streaming on Prime Video. Watch the trailer here.



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