I Want You Back (2022)
PG-13‧ Rom Com ‧ 1 hour 51 Minutes (111 Minutes)
Written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berge
Directed by Jason Orley
Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Scott Eastwood, Gina Rodriquez, Manny Jacinto
(In their own words) Newly dumped thirty-somethings Peter and Emma team up to sabotage their exes’ new relationships and win them back for good.
I Want You Back is fun Rom-Com that ponders the question, is love lost worth fighting for? Is a no-holds-barred, take no prisoners approach to winning back your ex really what’s best.
Peter and Emma work in the same office building and have a chance meeting in the stairwell as they are both finding a place for good cry. Turns out, they were both dumped by their significant other the same previous weekend. Misery loves company as this chance meeting of strangers turns to friendship. But they both have a yearning for their former loves, and one night out partying and lamenting they come up with idea. Emma will seduce Peter’s Ex’s new boyfriend and break them up so his ex will come back to Emma. And Peter will befriend Emma’s ex, and start convincing him to leave his new girlfriend and go back to Emma. It reminded me of the deal in Throw Mama From The Train, with a fundamental difference (aside from not murdering people). To the audience Peter and Emma need to remain unlike-able while they attempt to do something kind of crappy. Break up a couple for no other reason than to make themselves happy.
0ne of the interesting things about this rom-com is that there is no bad guy. There’s no arrogant or cheating boyfriend where the woman should be leaving for our hero. None of that. The exes actually seem in really nice relationships. To pull this movie off though, we have to like Peter and Emma. Which is definitely where this film has its strengths. Charlie Day does a fantastic job as Peter. He is extremely likable and gives us a fully fleshed out character. His portrayal is nuanced, subtle, and very committed to each moment. To a lesser degree so is Jenny Slate as Emma. While she is clearly a very strong actor, her character isn’t nearly as likable as Peter. But she does a great job portraying a lonely character who is both lost in love and life until she meets someone who believes in her.
The test of a good rom-com is whether you feel better about life after seeing it. And it succeeds in doing that. It is very smoothly shot, funny, and heartwarming.
Three BEST things about the film
- The likability of the main characters was off the charts
- The lack of villains.
- An Easter egg, where Manny Jacinto makes a nod towards, The Good Place, an NBC sitcom that he starred in .
The three WORST things about the Film
- There was no bad guy/gal to root against. The only people you root against are happy, otherwise you are rooting against the main characters.
- Unnecessary anger at the end.
Don’t be determined that you know what your life is supposed to be like.
THE FINAL WORD
A fun and funny film about learning to let go of the ones who once loved you.
My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It.
I want you back gets a Like It.
WHERE TO WATCH
I Want You Back is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Here’s the trailer
When he’s not reviewing films or interviewing people for the Black & A Half podcast, Silas Lindenstein can be found in the greater metro Seattle, WA working as a real estate agent helping people buy and sell homes, or performing stand up comedy to fellow nerds. He has a wife and three children and desperately wants to learn to make the perfect homemade pizza.