I Want You Back -B
Rated R, 111 minutes
"I Want You Back" is the familiar, yet charming new rom com from Amazon Prime starring "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia's" Charlie Day and "Obvious Child's" Jenny Slate. It's not an exactly revelatory entry in the genre, but the Day-Slate chemistry makes it a fun watch this Valentine's Day weekend.
Peter (Day) and Emma (Slate) are total strangers who work in the same building, both dumped by their respective partners, Anne (Gina Rodriguez) and Noah (Scott Eastwood), on the same weekend. Their new friendship turns into a mission when they discover that their exes have happily moved on to new romances, Anne with Logan (Manny Jacinto) and Noah with Ginny (Clark Backo). Terrified they'll be spending the rest of their lives alone, Peter and Emma hatch a desperate plot to win the loves of their lives back, though it doesn't work out as they expect.
The likable "I Want You Back" is directed by TV director and writer Jason Orley in his feature debut and co-written by producing and writing team Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger of "Love, Simon" and "How I Met Your Father." Both Day and Slate make for a good comedic team, though Slate especially shines, with her usual, natural affability; her charm shines through in one uplifting scene where she memorably belts out "Suddenly, Seymour" in a middle school version of "Little Shop of Horrors."
The film has a few too many characters who get lost in the shuffle, especially "Letterkenny"s" Backo and "Jane the Virgin's" Rodriguez, both given so very little to do here. Eastwood is too shallow, though "The Good Place's" Jacinto a little more effective as an edgy middle school drama teacher. It works best when Day and Slate are together, evident during a couple of awkwardly staged scenes without each other: an attempted threesome and a party that goes awry (and an unnecessary yet still fun cameo from "Saturday Night Live's" Pete Davidson).
Even with some flaws, especially in its attempt to ensure a happy ending for everyone, "I Want You Back" is still fun and filled with some laughs, thanks to the charming Day and Slate, who somehow win you over. While nothing new, it's definitely worth a shot this Valentine's Day weekend. Streaming on Amazon Prime on February 11.