A surprisingly fun, vibrant rom-com
I Want You Back is the latest rom-com on Amazon Prime and it’s a surprisingly fun watch. With a stacked cast, crackling chemistry and some really funny moments, this is a solid movie and well worth watching.
The story is pretty straightforward but it has enough nuance and depth to keep you invested through the slightly overlong 110 minute run-time. Nice-guy Peter (Charlie Day) is dumped by his girlfriend Anne (Gina Rodriguez) for being too safe and boring. At the same time, Noah (Scott Eastwood) breaks up with his girlfriend Emma (Jenny Slate), claiming she’s stuck in a rut.
With Emma and Peter both uncontrollably heartbroken, they end up bonding together when they find one another whilst sobbing on the same stairwell at the office building they both work in.
The pair immediately bond over their similar stories and launch a crusade to try and win their exs back. Peter is tasked with befriending Noah and getting in the way of his relationship with Ginny (Clark Backo) while Emma is on a mission to break up Anne with her new boyfriend Logan (Manny Jacinto).
It’s a simple but effective set-up and as one may expect, Peter and Emma end up growing closer in the process. The film isn’t completely predictable though, and there are some really nice twists and deviations from the usual clichés that plague these sort of films to keep this one feeling unique.
Some of that freshness stems from the chemistry between Charlie Day and Jenny Slate, who absolutely crackle as the “sadness sisters”, embracing one another’s sadness and working to try and help each other. It’s a nice set-up and in a way, bears some similarities to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, right down to the similar free-spirited attitude Logan embodies (just like Russell Brand’s character in that film.)
However, there a couple of the subplots in here that don’t quite work that well. Part of Emma’s mission to infiltrate Logan’s life includes performing at a middle school play and the scenes involving her and 12 year old Trevor feel a little dragged out. Likewise, the moments between Noah and Peter are nice but could have done with about 5 or 10 minutes shaved off to tighten things up.
Despite those nitpicks, the ending works wonders to quell any doubts and produces a great pay-off to an earlier bit of foreshadowing in the movie. The romance, drama and comedy mostly crackle throughout the picture and if you’re in the mood for a fun, vibrant and enjoyable romcom, I Want You Back is well worth a watch.
Verdict - 7.5/10