"...all started with a broken heart."
I WANT YOU BACK (2022)
THE "IMDB" PREMISE:
"Newly dumped thirty-somethings Peter and Emma team up to sabotage their exes' new relationships and win them back for good."
OUR [TO THE POINT] REVIEW:
I Want You Back is a modern romantic comedy that in theory is just like many other films that have come before – the difference here is you have Big Time Adolescence director Jason Orley at the helm along with Love, Simon writers Issac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger putting their spin on it. With that knowledge beforehand my expectations were through the roof, which I learned quickly was entirely my own fault.
Reflecting back on I Want You Back a few days after my initial viewing, things started to immensely improve for the film – finding the relationship between Jenny Slate and Charlie Day charming without a doubt, while surrounded by a story that is eerily predictable yet constantly unfamiliar. To break down that thought process, the film can be unpredictable in one instance and yet in the next you can possibly predict how the basic setup of the remainder of the film will play out. However with the films many twists and turns you can’t help but play along with them due to the impressive performances by Slate (Emma), Day (Peter), Eastwood (Noah), Rodriquez (Anne) and Jacinto (Logan) – not to leave out Backo (Ginny) but she is left more so on the back-burner in comparison to the other five.
What works so well in I Want You Back is the chemistry between our leads and their exes and while not all the crude humor works to its fullest of intentions – when it works, it works well. The dialogue between characters feels like a genuine conversation for a majority of the interactions within the film, however there are a few inconsistent moments. The way these characters interact with one another feels at times just like you’re sitting in on a real discussion but there are instances of occasional improvisation running wild and sometimes a writer trying to make these characters seem a little more suave than how they actually act. The ‘plane mask buddy’ circumstances – I understand the gravity of that situation to our lead Emma but the choice to make such a climatic moment out of it felt unnatural to say the least.
Nonetheless while my expectations from my unrelenting admiration of Love, Simon and how Orley’s Big Time Adolescence had me absolutely in stitches came into my initial impressions – in the end I Want You Back is a delightful love story that while not easily comparable to the previous efforts of the creative team behind it, they manage to capture a foreseeable yet endearing friendship between Charlie Day’s Peter and Jenny Slate’s Emma that all started with a broken heart.