Tag Archives: Dylan Gelula

REVIEW: “I WANT YOU BACK” (2022) Amazon Studios

Have you ever found yourself in a movie where the surprise of how good it is actually stuns you? Well colour me that person with this wonderful little surprise from director Jason Orley and writers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, with Prime Videos exclusive upcoming release of “I WANT YOU BACK.” It took the rom com cynic in me and turned it upside down and inside out, with this wonderful little switch-a-roo of taking the norms of the genre and well, not just changing them, but owning them and so much more.

It all starts with a little bit less than stellar opening for the first 10 minutes or so, with Emma (Jenny Slate), whose boyfriend Noah (Scott Eastwood), is breaking up with her. All the while Peter (Charlie Day), girlfriend Anne (Gina Rodriguez), is doing the same with him by citing the fact that even though she’s a teacher, she somehow thinks he’s holding her back from her non-existent acting career and life as a worldwide traveler. From there, the two recently dumped strangers stumble upon each other’s breakup anguish in, of all places, the stairwell of the office building where they both work. Terrified at the prospect that, in their 30s they have lost their last shot at love, they each seek some solace in each other and together hatch a desperate plot to win back their ex’s, which ends up turning into a mission to help each other con their respective exes back into their lives. Emma agrees to seduce Peter’s ex Anne’s new boyfriend high school drama teacher Logan (Manny Jacinto), and Peter agrees to become Emma’s ex Noah’s best buddy to distract him from his new pie shop owner girlfriend Ginny (Clark Backo), each in an effort to sabotage their new relationships and remind them of what they’re missing. It’s a setup that can defeat all logic, but as well sets up a classic movie that is a lot funnier than the majority of its counterparts. But what makes it so perfect is everything that happens along the way and boy does a lot happen.

I WANT YOU BACK

Honestly, it’s the fun of watching moments like Emma telling Peter he’s more of a ‘slow-burn attraction’ highlights just one of the many moments of fun in this film that after it’s slightly bumpy beginning that had me wrapped up in it’s palm, in no time at all. Until now, I did not realize that what has been missing from my life is Slate’s character Emma, playing homage to “Little Shop of Horrors” as just one of many hilarious moments in a film packed wall-to-wall with laugh out loud comedy moments. One of complete delights of these moments is when seventh grader Trevor (Luke David Blumm), who is only working on the school’s play to cut some detention points off, becomes friends with Emma, but never in a creepy way, but in like a “I don’t know what platonic means, but you’re my girlfriend now” hysterically funny, but also sweet way.

But it’s truly the chemistry between Charlie Day and the wonderful Jenny Slate that does everything for this movie and when I say everything… I mean EVERYTHING. They are wonderful together and make every little twist believable, laughable or emotionable. The entirety of this supporting cast is so spot on, diverse and wonderful. And I would be remiss to not mention some keep-your-eye-out-for-them-cameos, that will just make you love this movie till it’s very end.

So honestly, take it from a rom-com cynic, this movie will de-ice your heart, make you laugh and maybe…just maybe, you and me both will find our ‘plane mask buddy’.

Grade: B

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Review Screening ~ Courtesy of Ginsberg/Libby PR

“I WANT YOU BACK” premieres exclusively on Prime Video Friday, February 11, 2022

SPIRIT AWARDS NOMINEES – WEEK TWO SCREENING REVIEWS

Started and finished up Week Two of Spirit Award nominee screenings. Closed it all out on Saturday and granted I didn’t see everything yet, but have gotten in a good portion of those nominated and while some they did provide screeners for most, a few did not (I’m looking specifically at you “Thoroughbreds”), or I made the screenings. From here on it gets real as (drum roll) we vote.

“WILDLIFE” Dir: Paul Dano

‘Wildlife’ is a perfect example of how you can put two very good actor/actresses in a film and it still doesn’t make it good. Jake Gyllenhaal is just plain wooden in his role here and Carey Mulligan almost overacts her role as a cheating housewife. Almost painful to watch what could have had potential, just did not work.
Grade: D

“SUPPORT THE GIRLS” Dir. Andrew Bujalski

I found myself having a soft spot for this one even though it might not have been the best movie I’ve seen – it most definitely had it’s moments while giving a absolute spot on portrayal of what it’s like working in the service industry, most especially in the “Hooters” type atmosphere. Regina Hall leads the cast as the general manager, but almost stealing the show from her are the ‘girls’ Haley Lu Richardson, AJ Michalka, and newcomer Shayna McHayle. James Le Gros as the grubby bar owner rounds this out. It’s definitely got a good #GirlPower message to women servers around the world!
Grade: C+

“COLETTE” Dir: Wash Westmoreland

Colette is yet another true story of female empowerment – a woman with real talent trying to break out of the gilded cage she finds herself trapped in. Colette is the ghost writer of a series of novels about her own life, but because of the times, her husband says they are his and takes credit for them – until she steps out of the cage. While not Keira Knightly’s biggest fan, she does the brooding Victorian women like no other. Dominic West delivers a reliably solid performance as expected, with the supporting cast also doing the same. Sadly, the film seems much longer slog than its 111 minute run time, notably the whole middle portion of the film being somewhat pedestrian as well.
Grade: C

“YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE” Dir. Lynne Ramsay

What a huge letdown this film was for me. Most definitely inspired by ‘Taxi Driver’, and ‘inspired by’ is where it shall remain as this pointless plot about Joaquin Phoenix as hired enforcer with clearly some mom issues of his own. This plot falls all over the place with bad, slow pacing and brings nothing new to the table. Yes, I get it, it supposed to be an ‘art’ film – but even those have to have some semblance of some type of clever conversation or suspense.. anything really. To those that loved it..kudos..
Grade: D

“CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME” Dir: Marielle Heller

Melissa McCarthy brings a whole other side to her acting her with this strong dramatic turn as a celeb bio author who books cease to be published so instead she resorts to ‘authoring’ fake celebrity letters. Something which she is very good at, probably better than writing her actual books truth be told. Aided by the fantastic supporting performance of Richard E. Grant, this film is non-stop literary fun from beginning to end..and by end we mean in jail for fraud.
Grade: B+

“BLACKkKLANSMAN” Dir: Spike Lee

I will confess, Adam Driver kinda kept me away from watching this film because my admitting that I am just not a fan might make some upset because of the whole Star Wars thing etc.. etc.. so Star Wars fanboys I apologize, as I actually liked him here. But come on, John David Washington, was perfection. This movie had me from moment one, and made me laugh with disbelief, but it also made me cry at the very end when you do realize that we ARE letting it happen again – and that breaks my heart. #RIPHeatherHeyer
Grade: A+

“EIGHTH GRADE” Dir: Bo Burnham

I mean all I can say is read my review here to know how much I loved it.
https://peggyatthemovies.com/2018/07/17/review-eighth-grade-2018-a24/
Grade: A-

“WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR” Dir: Morgan Neville

Again, my review from when I saw this wonderful film earlier in the year.
https://peggyatthemovies.com/2018/06/01/review-wont-you-be-my-neighbor-2018-focus-features/
Grade: A+

@pegsatthemovies