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11 Feb 2022

‘I Want You Back’: A review

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February 11, 2022 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

By Kharisma McIlwaine

*This review contains spoilers*

Breakups — we’ve all been there unfortunately, and heartbreak is never fun.  Heartbreak often comes with a never-ending stream of tears, swollen eyes, ice cream binges and the fear that you’ll never find love again. Heartbreak is no walk in the park, but what happens after the breakup when you just can’t seem to let it go? What lengths would you go to in order to get your ex back? Would you become a stalker — plot and scheme? 

In the romantic comedy, “I Want You Back,” we catch of a glimpse of what the combination of heartbreak and desperation can do. Written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, and directed by Jason Orley, “I Want You Back” stars Jenny Slate (Emma), Charlie Day (Peter), Gina Rodriguez (Anne), Scott Eastwood (Noah), Clark Backo (Ginny) and Manny Jacinto (Logan).

After getting dumped by their respective lovers Noah and Ginny on the same weekend, Emma and Peter meet by happenstance in the stairwell of the building where they work. Emma works as a receptionist at a dental office, while Peter works at a company that oversees nursing homes. Emma and Peter form an instance bond over their heartbreak. Initially, they are a shoulder for each other to cry on and a welcomed distraction. But it doesn’t take long for their friendship to develop along with an alliance they hilariously refer to as “the sadness sisters.”

After seeing that both of their exes have moved on rather quickly with new people on social media, the duo devise a plan to win their exes back by breaking up their current relationships. They collectively do a full social media dive to gather intel on their exes’ new loves and hatch a plan. 

Emma plans to break up Logan and Anne by making Anne jealous and driving a wedge between the two. She does this by joining the production team as a volunteer for the middle school production of “Little Shop of Horrors” that Logan is directing at the school where Anne also teaches. Peter’s plan — only slightly less sinister — is to break up Noah and Ginny by befriending Noah and hiring him as his personal trainer.  In true rom-com fashion, initially Emma and Peter’s plans work seamlessly. Logan is attracted to Emma and Anne is jealous beyond belief, Peter and Noah are becoming the best of friends and Peter is being adventurous and taking chances that he never took before. Their plans are going great — until they aren’t. Emma’s plan works like a charm and Logan and Anne break up. Noah however, is head over heels in love with Ginny and proposes. In the midst of all of the chaos, Emma and Peter realize that their quest to win their exes back may all be for naught. During their mission they discover that they bring out the best versions of each other and what they thought was just friendship has developed into love.

“I Want You Back” very successfully combines the nostalgia of classic rom-coms with a new twist. Additionally, the chemistry between the entire cast, and Emma and Peter in particular, is very enjoyable to watch. The film serves as a humorous cautionary tale that chasing the past may prevent you from embracing the kind of future you really want. With an unforgettable musical number, a swan dive off of the roof into a hot tub, and a series of heartfelt ‘a-ha’ moments, paired with awkward hijinks, “I Want You Back” is a must watch! 

“I Want You Back” premieres exclusively on Amazon Prime on February 11, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

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