It’s the rom-com version of “Strangers on a Train” and it’s perfect!
When I see the hundreds of movie review accounts that I follow all seemingly post about the same movie, I sometimes question if it’s worth joining in on the hype. Should I absolutely find a way to see the movie? Or should I let the moment pass? I’ll admit, more than once I’ve let the moment pass and have been so thankful that I didn’t subject myself to peer pressure. It doesn’t happen very often but occasionally I’ll join in on the hype and shockingly be blown away by the quality of the movie. Especially when it comes from a streaming platform! I’m here to tell you that I Want You Back (2022) is undoubtedly a must-see movie that is an utter delight from the very beginning to the very end. I loved this movie and am so glad I got around to seeing it! It’s totally deserving of the praise it’s been receiving. Look, regardless of how I Want You Back turned out, I kept telling myself, “there’s no way this could be more disappointing than Amazon’s last romantic-comedy, Book of Love (2022).” By the way, check out my review for that movie, here.
I Want You Back follows Peter and Emma, two strangers who are suddenly and unexpectedly dumped by the loves of their lives. After becoming friends, the two team up to sabotage their exes new relationships to try and get them back.
All it took was seeing the poster for I Want You Back and seeing that it was a romantic-comedy starring Charlie Day and Jenny Slate to sell me on this movie. I mean, I am not being hyperbolic at all when I say that Day and Slate are hands down two of the most hilarious and underrated actors working today. I want to see them in anything and everything. Give them all the roles! They’re each phenomenal in everything they do and I Want You Back is no exception. The minute Slate opened the movie with that adorably unique voice of hers I was all in on I Want You Back. More than just her voice though, the entirety of Slate’s performance in this movie is rom-com gold. Day’s as well! The movie uses each of them to the best of their abilities, both comedic and dramatic, giving them equal chances to shine.
I greatly appreciated that both Peter and Emma are truly equally the main characters. The movie is about both of them and both the writing and direction brilliantly gives them the spotlight. You actually see these two genuinely falling in love in a way that is believable and authentic (which is a huge testament to the exceptional writing) which helps sell the overall charm of this rom-com. Their chemistry really reminds me of another one of my favourite movie couples, Kristen Wiig and Chris O’Dowd in Bridesmaids (2011). Just the most fun. Fuck yeah I want to go karaokeing and drinking with these two! These lead performances are so good and will endear you to both these characters and the movie overall. It can’t be stated enough how powerful good writing and leads with legitimate chemistry are. It’s all you need to create a great movie.
The supporting cast in I Want You Back is just as enjoyable as the leads. Everyone from Manny Jacinto to Mason Gooding are an entertaining and endearing addition to the cast, but none more so than Scott Eastwood. As Emma’s ex, Noah, Eastwood plays a total himbo and it is hysterical to watch. This is hands down the best acting I’ve ever seen from Scott Eastwood! He totally nails that sweet, innocent charm that Zan Efron delivers in movies like, Neighbors (2014) and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016).
This is the kind of movie I probably would have gone to see in theatres. It’s like an actual real movie which is surprising for Amazon. It’s more elevated than the type of content usually distributed by streamers. It was exciting to watch I Want You Back because I feel like rom-coms, especially ones with this kind of genuinely sweet, focused on the writing tone, are seldom made today. It kind of reminds me of rom-coms from the 2000s. It feels like it’s not concerned with trying to be overtly hip or anything but instead just telling an engaging and fresh love story for a modern audience. And it succeeds in doing so with flying colours. I Want You Back is so cute and had me genuinely smiling and laughing, even CACKLING, throughout. I already want to watch this again! Maybe I’m just starved for quality rom-coms these days but this movie was a big hit with me.
I Want You Back is one of those movie that I just never wanted to end. I was thrilled when halfway through I still had an hour of movie left, something I have not said in quite a long time! Even after the final scene (which may surprise even those who are SURE they know how this rom-com will end), I was holding out hope that there were five more minutes of runtime because I didn’t want my time with I Want You Back to be over. It makes sense I loved this movie so much because screenwriters Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger are also the writers of another one of my favourite rom-coms, Love, Simon (2018)! Wow. That clinches it. Moving forward I am 10,000 per cent down to see anything and everything written by this duo. Especially if all of their future projects continue to include cute outfits, cute boys and cute relationships.
I Want You Back will remind you why you fell in love with rom-coms in the first place. The best movie I have seen so far this year hands down, I implore you to go check out this sensational movie! I literally have only seen this movie one time but I know deep within my heart that this is a movie I absolutely need to own on DVD. Coming from me, that’s the highest form of praise you could receive.
Have you seen I Want You Back?
Let me know in the comments or on social media!