With February 2022 coming to a close, the season of romantic comedy overload has officially ended. To capitalize on the Valentine's Day surge of romance-seeking viewers, the flood of new and old rom-coms on streaming services is seemingly endless. At the top of this year’s pile was I Want You Back, a Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh feature released on Amazon Prime Video. Praised for its writing, enticing premise, and cast led by comedy veterans Jenny Slate and Charlie Day, I Want You Back stands out as the top rom-com of the year so far. Is this film good enough to potentially reach best-of-the-year status, or do great reviews not always lead to a top-notch film? Read below to find out!
The Premise of ‘I Want You Back’
In the opening scene of I Want You Back, Emma (Slate) and Peter (Day) both get dumped by their respective partners. Though leading completely separate lives, they bond over their newfound single status after a chance meeting and become fast friends. In their desperation, they hatch a plan together to have the other person infiltrate the life of their ex-partner to break up their ex’s new relationships, thus driving them back into their original relationships. While executing their devious plan, Emma and Peter undergo some life-changing realizations and grow as people.
Does The Charm of ‘I Want You Back’ Outweigh Its Deceitful Premise?
In short, Jenny Slate and Charlie Day, lovable as they are, prove that I Want You Back is very much not equal to the sum of its parts. Armed with the unique setting of Atlanta and a downright manipulative premise, this R-rated film should be the subversive experience that the reviews claim it to be; instead, it follows a much more conventional narrative than most prospective viewers wanted. Luckily, the way Emma and Peter’s plan unfurls has its unexpected turns, but I Want You Back makes it clear from the beginning where the characters will end up in the final moments of the film (which is not necessarily a bad thing). It’s funny and romantic for sure and earns its title as the best rom-com of the year so far, but just barely.
Go in with a bit lower expectations on Prime Video today to see the best rom-com of the year so far. Hopefully, we’ll see a lot better ones than I Want You Back in the future!