Charlie Day and Jenny Slate try to get their exes back in a mostly entertaining romantic comedy that could have benefited from a sharper bite

There are shades of Griffin Dunne’s underappreciated romantic comedy Addicted to Love in Amazon’s slick Valentine’s offering I Want You Back, stories of dumpees refusing to take no for an answer. But while there was a dark undercurrent disrupting the cutesy sight of Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick flirting in Manhattan way back when, the Big Time Adolescence director Jason Orley is less interested in the murk and keen, if not a little insistent, that his characters be liked, if not unconditionally loved.

It’s thus a far simpler, far more earnest film that one would expect from the spiky set-up that sees total strangers Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate) bond over being dumped at the same time, fixating on the exes who have moved on without them. Their upset quickly turns to anger when they discover that their former lovers have replaced them with newer, sexier alternatives, and so they hatch a plan to go undercover and destroy the burgeoning relationships. Peter becomes gym buddies with Emma’s ex Noah (Scott Eastwood) while Emma tries to come between Peter’s ex Anne (Gina Rodriguez) and her new beau Logan (Manny Jacinto).

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