February 14, 2022

SCREEN | 'I Want You Back' Breaks Up on Prime Video

"We're each other's sadness sisters."
Jenny Slate Charlie Day Jason Orley | I Want You Back | Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Studios
Riffing on the well-worn romantic comedy formula, comedians Charlie Day and Jenny Slate star as a lovesick pair whose exes (Gina Rodriguez and Scott Eastwood) dump them both—leading to their mutal bond over shared grief and sadness in the amusing I Want You Back. Soon, the duo makes a pact to be each other's "sadness sisters" and vow to break up their exes' new relationships to get them back as the title strongly suggests.

Director Jason Orley puts together a pretty fun and light portrait of romantic desperation while mining the "loveable loser" archetype. Day and Slate are so naturally funny and charming, particularly when contrasted to their more unlikely romantic opposites in Rodriguez and Eastwood who feel so intentionally conventional.

Written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, the script leaves room to emphasize the leads' chemistry and naturalistic playfulness—yet sadly lacks the seminal debut 'N Sync mid-'90s dance-pop track of the same name. How it quickly recreates the silly but comforting beats from common romantic comedies still feels fresh enough despite the familiarity.

Day and Slate are so talented and funny, especially when they're sad watching Con Air together, any comedy starring both of them together as fast friends turned possible romantic foils would have be watchable. It's also interesting how I Want You Back simultaneously twists then meets many the classic rom-com tropes in mostly amusing contemporary ways.

I Want You Back is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

More | AV Club / Indiewire

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