Watching actors push beyond their standardized personas is always good fun, and in the case of I Want You Back, it’s essential for the movie to work. Can you imagine Jenny Slate and Charlie Day doing their usual Jenny Slate and Charlie Day things in a rom-com and not ruining the thing? I can’t.
I think this is why it’s frustrating to see actors pigeonholed into a single person based on one character they’re known for playing, a’la Day playing Charlie Kelly in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. His screamy, pitchy act works in that show. It doesn’t work everywhere else*. Same with Jenny Slate and Mona-Lisa Saperstein from Parks and Recreation. So the fact that I Want You Back gives them room to riff and explore is a huge help, and one of the main reasons I enjoyed it as much as I did.
You can read my full review over at Paste Magazine.
*Except in Pacific Rim, but he tones it down and modulates it for that movie anyway.