Review: I Want You Back

I WANT YOU BACK (2022)

In what may be the first big surprise of the year, I Want You Back is a hilarious and heartfelt comedy led by the incredible chemistry of stars Charlie Day and Jenny Slate.

Peter (Day) and Emma (Slate) bond over both having been recently broken up and together launch a plan to help the other get their partner back. Jason Orley’s latest is a smart, modern comedy that harnesses the quirkiness and humor of its leads. Day sets himself apart from his It’s Always Sunny character with a perusable and likable performance, just as Slate does the same (it’s hard to not think of her as Mona Lisa in Parks & Recreation). The latter shows a surprising emotional range that is at times heartbreaking, but mostly beautiful. The jokes are often subtle, but so well delivered that it’s hard not to laugh. Scott Eastwood, Manny Jacinto, and Gina Rodriguez do well to avoid the pitfalls of weak supporting roles thanks to their characters being well fleshed out and impactful. The entire cast simply gels, playing off of one another and delivering a film that is a joy to watch.

Writers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, who previously collaborated on the script from 2018’s Love, Simon, don’t reinvent the wheel here, but instead lean in to what works. Certain developments will have you thinking “of course,” but you’ll quickly follow that thought with “awww!” I Want You Back expertly tackles romance and friendship while also addressing career, mentorship, identity, and more. Again, a lot of it is subtle, but it works incredibly well. I haven’t laughed quite so hard in a while. Day and Slate are perfect together and make I Want You Back and absolute joy to watch. It may be my favorite of the year so far.

I Want You Back hits PrimeVideo on Friday.

Rating: 5/5

Photo from POPSUGAR

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