'I Want You Back' Review: Charlie Day, Jenny Slate's rom-com is relatable and heartwarming
Breaking up isn't easy. It's worse especially on the person getting dumped. Jason Orley's romantic comedy 'I Want You Back' looks at the lives of two such characters, dumped from what they thought were meaningful relationships. The movie doesn't take a lot of time to put these two characters, Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate) in humiliating waters after being dumped by their partners Anne (Gina Rodriguez) and Noah (Scott Eastwood). It's compatibility issues mostly, but it's done and that sets the tone for a love story that's cute, relatable, and heartwarming.
Just over their thirties, Emma and Peter enter into that stage of their lives where they believe they're ready for the big step with their respective partners. On the other side, Noah (Eastwood) is a physical trainer while Anne is a teacher and the duo has their own dreams and aspirations, and they feel their relationships with their partners aren't working. The same weekend sees Peter and Emma dumped. One returns to her gig as a receptionist at an orthodontic clinic while Peter is back in a shady retirement company.
Things seemingly change and also kickstarts some hilarious horror when the two meet in their shared building's staircase. After crying their heart out over alcohol, junk food, and some more alcohol, they come up with a cockamamie scheme to break their respective partners' relationships. Noah is seeing a bakery owner, Ginny (Clark Blacko) while Anne dates a drama teacher, Logan (Manny Jacinto) who's a bit of a wildman himself. The mission: Peter befriends Noah and convinces him that his relationship is just a rebound, while Emma seduces Logan resulting in Anne calling it off.
And as predictable as it seems, their everyday struggles to accomplish that breakup bring them closer and lead to something more than what either of them hoped for. 'I Want You Back' is breezy, and easy on the eye. It doesn't slow down and see some excessive drama that often ruins the most promising rom-coms. The only time the film feels a bit of a letdown is in the second half when the plot suddenly goes for a twist that ends up the audience speculating if it ends on a bitter note for any of the four main characters.
'I Want You Back' doesn't necessarily rely on forced humor, the comic elements are basically the two attempting something they haven't done before. Day is promising as a comedy star and as for Eastwood, well, it's a start after the clunky 'Dangerous'. Slate is cute and all heart and holds her own as a bitter woman who's dumped but still manages to find happiness. If this is Amazon Prime Video's Valentine's Day present, safe to say, it's not a disappointment.
'I Want You Back' is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.