'I Want You Back' Is Cheesy in Just the Right Way

Directed by Jason Orley

Starring Charlie Day, Jenny Slate, Gina Rodriguez, Scott Eastwood, Manny Jacinto

BY Marriska FernandesPublished Feb 11, 2022

As far as rom-coms go, they don't make 'em like they used to. The tried-and-true formula has been worn out so much so that Hollywood studios don't often bother to make them good (no offence, Marry Me). But every now and then, a rom-com will surprise audiences — like Always Be My Maybe, The Photograph or Crazy Rich Asians — and one such delightfully sweet treat is I Want You Back.

Peter (Charlie Day) was dumped by Anne (Gina Rodriguez), his girlfriend of six years, and Emma (Jenny Slate) has been dumped by Noah (Scott Eastwood), her boyfriend of 18 months. Peter and Emma meet in their office stairwell while mourning their relationships. They bond over broken hearts and, when they realize that their exes have moved on to better, hotter alternatives, they conspire to have the other ruin their ex's new relationship. 

Emma tries to get in the way of Anne's new relationship by seducing her new boyfriend Logan (Manny Jacinto), and Peter bonds with Noah and hopes to convince him to get back with Emma.

The plot might sound clichéd, but the incredible comic timing and chemistry between Day and Slate elevate the scenes. There are so many laugh-out-loud moments because of the way their lines land — never trying too hard, but hilarious and heartfelt, catching you off-guard, even in simpler moments. 

Slate is an incredibly gifted actress. Whether she's bringing the chemistry with Day, talking to a ninth grader with incredibly dark humour, or attempting to seduce Logan, she's a treat in every scene. Day, who has shown his comedic chops in Horrible Bosses, proves he can play the lead in a rom-com just as well as in a buddy comedy. 
Even the supporting actors bring their charm and comedy — especially Manny Jacinto, who seems to have fun playing the super-serious, self-assured drama teacher. He steals the scene many times.

The film also attempts to deliver original cheesy lines — you know the ones that get quoted, like, "You're my person," or, "You had me at hello." Although this is an odd reference if you haven't seen the movie, the "airplane safety mask person" is definitely a new one and quite cute. You will certainly hang on to some of these cheesy lines, especially if you love rom-coms. I Want You Back has got all the ingredients worthy of becoming a new rom-com staple as it freshens up your steady diet of recent clichéd flicks.
(Prime Video)

Latest Coverage