You never know what a night out will bring…
New to Netflix today; The Lovebirds is a delightful but ultimately slight romp that makes for a fun piece of couch bound entertainment and is actually been served by the current crisis as it plays far better on the small screen then it would have on the big screen.
A couple (Issa Rae & Kumail Nanjiani) experiences a defining moment in their relationship when they are unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery. As their journey to clear their names takes them from one extreme – and hilarious – circumstance to the next, they must figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night.
While this could have very possibly died on the vine at the box office, The Lovebirds is actually a picture perfect Netflix movie as it generates just enough laughs and has just enough action to keep you engaged for 90 minutes on a lazy Friday night of viewing.
Director Michael Showalter is a serviceable comedic director as the script from writers Aaron Abrams (CANADIAN) and Brendan Gall is cute but plays out the rom-com cliché with every single beat as it adds in some 80’s action flavour. Had this movie been made in 1987 it probably would have been huge, there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s a movie designed to be sold and mass consumed as light and fluffy popcorn and nothing more. Showalter to his credit keeps it all moving from set piece to set piece keeping the narrative and the entertainment value high and going at a brisk pace as it rides the line between rom-com cliché and gonzo comedy which works quite well thanks to the obviously bang-on chemistry between our two leads.
Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani don’t have an excessively long track record as feature leads but they do a bang up job here as we not only buy them as two people falling in love, but also as a long standing couple bickering hilariously about everything from the daily nonsense of their lives and what to do when they think that they’re being accused of murder and wrapped up in a nefarious scheme and cover up.
It’s all not nearly as clever as they think it is, but Rae and Nanjiani ultimately carry the material which all amounts of a gonzo type of chase movie and we like following them along the way but sadly there’s almost no character development outside of our two leads. The overall focus of it works but could have been a little more interesting with an extra layer or two piled on it.
The Lovebirds is point and click entertainment to a tee which you can easily have a lot of fun with in the moment but will ultimately forget about the second you see “Up Next” in your Netflix cue.