As if we needed another reason to love Jenny Slate, new rom-com star

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As if we needed another reason to love Jenny Slate, new rom-com star
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Jenny Slate, Milton’s beloved native daughter, stars in Amazon’s comedic “I Want You Back” as a woman whose life takes a sudden detour when her boyfriend takes a hike.

Slate’s Emma becomes obsessed, not with moving forward and moving on, with getting him (Scott Eastwood) back. By any means necessary. Which in her case means secretly trying to derail his new relationship.

In this she finds a partner in her platonic best friend (Charlie Day), who’s also just become an unwilling single.

Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate) commiserate over being dumped by their significant others in ‘I Want You Back.’.

“One of the best things about our movie,” Slate said in a Zoom interview, “is that it’s not like once you find the person to love, you’ll be perfect — and your life will be perfect too.

“It’s more like, there isn’t just one chance. If you want to be able to see what’s out there and see your options in terms of who you can love and how you can love them, you’re going to have to completely let go of what you feel is ‘safe.’ ”

“Back” echoes the kind of classic romantic comedies Slate, 39, grew up watching.

“I think I’ve seen all of them, truly. When I was younger and would think about being an actor in movies, it seemed like such a treat to be able to be the lead in a rom-com because, essentially, you’re playing a character everybody is hoping will find love.

“And that woman” — like her desperate, scheming Emma – “usually is kind of on the outs in one way or another at the start.”

She cited an early Sandra Bullock hit, “While You Were Sleeping,” with its flawed but still engaging heroine.

“Sandra Bullock is so darling in that movie. But there’s also a moment where her character tells an insane whopper, a giant lie. And you still find her so lovable.

“So it’s a real honor to fill that space of somebody who we want to love. And although there’s certainly some mischief here for sure, it wasn’t mean. It’s aiming at being as equally romantic as it is funny.”

Slate’s career includes a variety of voice work. She’s currently finishing “The Ark and the Aardvark” alongside the long-running “Muppet Babies” and “Bob’s Burgers.”

“I find it really invigorating. It feels really good to gather all of my energy and just divest myself of my own body. And because you’re imagining everything and you only have one way out and that’s your voice, voice work really just feels like it’s my sweet spot.”


“I Want You Back” opens Feb. 11.

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