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film reel image

Thursday, February 17, 2022

I Want You Back 2022 * * * Stars


"I wanna break up with you". Ouch. Those six words can make a man or woman feel like not eating (I know cause I've been there). My latest review is a pic about break-ups, make-ups, attempted threesomes, and Pete Davidson cameos (ugh). Just another reason for Kanye to rage on Twitter. 

Anyway, Jason Orley has only directed two movies. However, he manages to sort of reinvent the rom-com wheel with this year's I Want You Back. Filmed in Savannah, Georgia (it's the even-keel climate and the tax breaks), "Back" sneaks up on you when you initially thought it was a flick straight out of 2002. Reese Witherspoon and J. Lo are nowhere to be found and that might be a good thing.

I Want You Back is a different kind of romantic comedy. Basically it has a little more going on upstairs. Director Orley seems to be a mild expert at weaving plot lines, forming classic rom-com deadpans at the end of a scene, and inserting coincidences when it comes to a man and a woman deploying a relationship. His "Back" is about two people who get dumped and then meet up together to scheme in order to win their exes back. That's a fairly indigenous concept.

Now did I like all the characters in I Want You Back as portrayed? Mostly. Heck, I could've done without Charlie Day acting like Charlie Day for the umpteenth time (maybe it's the high-pitched voice or the fact that he won't practice the art of self-effacing). And did I think "Back" was a little predictable? Maybe but that's okay. I mean what allurement doesn't have the soft notion of being headily par for the course. Just like death and taxes, you just know two people are eventually gonna get their romance on.

I Want You Back stars Scott Eastwood, Day (mentioned earlier), and Jenny Slate. The movie that they inhabit blurs the lines of sappiness and sentimentality but thankfully it never crosses it. If you wanna see a vehicle that comes off like a less artsy and less cerebral version of Wicker Park, then I Want You Back is your go-to. Yup, I have its "back". Natch. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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