The Lovebirds: Netflix Film Review

The Lovebirds

The Lovebirds was originally supposed to be released in cinemas in April, but after they closed due to the coronavirus, Paramount Pictures sold the rights to Netflix, which should have been the home for this formulaic comedy all along.

The Lovebirds stars Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae as Jibran and Leilani, a couple who are on the rocks and incessantly fighting. While driving to a party, they come to the conclusion that they should break up, but before they can digest this revelation, a man (Paul Sparks) claiming to a cop commandeers their car and uses it to kill a man on a bicycle before fleeing the scene. Realising it looks like they just committed murder, they work together to follow the clues and solve the mystery in an effort to clear their names.

This romantic comedy/crime caper hybrid is fairly breezy, lightweight stuff and is basically comprised of the couple using the clues to lead them from a series of surreal and bizarre setpieces with scenes of them bickering in between. Even though it is all a bit ridiculous, it was still pretty fun and certain lines made me laugh out loud. I don’t think I totally followed the plot, but that comes second to the comedy anyway, and I enjoyed the ride regardless, particularly when it started to borrow heavily from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut – I did not see that coming, but it certainly provided a great basis for comedy.

I didn’t believe Rae and Nanjiani as a couple in love, there was no romantic chemistry there whatsoever, but they worked well together when they were squabbling – they were great at bouncing off each other – and they both sold the physical comedy. Nanjiani stood out for me because he was more effective at selling the jokes and he just cracks me up. Anna Camp has a small and bizarre part in this and I’m truly surprised she signed up for it.

Netflix feels like the natural home for The Lovebirds because it falls in line with a lot of their movies, quality-wise. It is completely predictable and forgettable but I had a lot of fun with it and it made me a smile, which is what we all need right now.

The Lovebirds is available on Netflix from Friday 22nd May 

Rating: 3/5

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