‘I Want You Back’ is a fun romantic comedy movie directed by Jason Orley. It revolves around Peter and Emma, two thirty-something strangers who bump into each other after getting dumped by their partners Anne and Noah respectively. They begin supporting each other through the pain of heartbreak but eventually realize that they are unable to get over their exes, who have moved on with other people. In a desperate attempt to win them back, they devise a crazy plan to make their former lovers break up with their current partners.
However, along the way, Peter and Emma begin to realize that maybe getting back with their exes is not exactly what makes them happy. They start enjoying each other’s company and understand each other in a way not even their former lovers did. Their palpable chemistry makes the audience wonder whether they decide to be together or not. Let’s find out the answer to that question together. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Do Emma and Peter End Up Together?
Peter and Emma become each other’s “sadness sisters,” as she likes to call them, after Anne and Noah leave them for new people. To cope with their breakups, they start hanging out with each other to vent out and have fun visiting karaoke bars and movie theaters together. They relate to each other through their heartbreaks and inability to get out of the monotonous lives they lead. Peter and Emma decide to help each other win their exes back by following a hilarious scheme — she seduces Anne’s new boyfriend Logan, and Peter befriends Noah to make him leave his partner Ginny.
Over time, Emma confides in Peter about how she discontinued her college after her father passed away and since then she never really took time to figure out her calling in life. On the other hand, Peter shares his dream of opening his own old age home for senior citizens and working for their welfare. Despite being mocked and discouraged by others, he finds unlikely support from Emma who praises his goal and makes him believe that it is achievable. Emma also tells him that he is the kind of man whom one falls slowly and steadily for and that he shouldn’t consider himself unworthy of love.
Gradually, Emma’s efforts begin getting results when Logan agrees to engage in a threesome sexual encounter with her and Anne, who initially agrees to it. But when they meet up for the same, she becomes highly uncomfortable and breaks up with Logan. Anne confesses that she is not so adventurous as she thought and misses the security Peter gave her, thus deciding to return to him. Meanwhile, Peter is successful in befriending Noah but the latter’s feelings towards Ginny become stronger and he proposes to her for marriage.
Emma is dejected when Peter tells her about Noah’s decision but is even more hurt when he tells her that they can’t meet anymore as he is back with Anne. Since they work in the same office building, they keep running into each other, but things turn awkward as they don’t speak anymore. Emma begins feeling abandoned by him and starts focusing on her career. Elsewhere, Peter also starts realizing that he misses Emma and despite being back with Anne, he is not so content as he expected. He further realizes that Emma was far more supportive of his goals than Anne is, who feels that he shouldn’t pursue them as it involves risk.
Things get heated when Peter and Emma both get invited to Noah and Ginny’s wedding and arrive there with Anne and Logan as their respective dates. They have an awkward conversation while trying to conceal their friendship from their partners and Noah. Emma informs Peter that she has moved out of her apartment and decided to be a guidance counselor, just like he advised her to do. He is elated to know about it and tells her about finally working on opening his old age home as they discussed previously. However, Emma behaves rather curtly as she is angry seeing him with Anne at Noah’s wedding.
Peter starts realizing his feelings for Emma and approaches her, but she angrily confronts him for abandoning her and spills the secret of their plan to everyone. Out of hurt, she further states that she does not feel the same for him and walks away. Later on, Peter and Anne break up amicably when they conclude that though they had good times together, they don’t feel fulfilled with each other anymore. Furthermore, Emma apologizes to Noah about her actions and tells him that she pursued him only out of her fear of ending up alone and not because she loved him.
On the airplane back home, Peter and Emma get adjacent seats to each other. When there is sudden turbulence, he immediately helps her put on her safety mask first before putting on his own. This is a highly symbolic gesture of true love for Emma as she had once told Peter that she always imagined doing the same for her lover since childhood. Previously, Noah was that person for her but when she sees Peter putting her before himself, Emma melts. As the movie ends, they both give each other a reassuring smile that shows their intent to give each other a chance.
Thus, we believe that this indicates that Peter and Emma do end up together, as they realize that they flourish in each other’s company and support and are imperfectly perfect for each other. While trying to win back Anne and Noah, they begin growing together as individuals and start matching each other’s sensibilities. Their feelings further strengthen when they are away from each other and Peter is unhappy despite getting Anne back. Finally, they realize that while pushing each other towards their ex-lovers, they actually have come closer to each other.
Read More: Is I Want You Back Based on a True Story?