The Lovebirds (2020)
Director: Michael Showalter
Writers: Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall, and Martin Gero
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp, and Kyle Bornheimer
Plot: A recently broken up couple finds themselves trying to solve a murder before it can be pinned on them.
Review: The Lovebirds was one of the movies I was most disappointed to see pulled from theaters. Throughout the first three months of the year, I must’ve seen its trailer two dozen times and it made me smile everytime. There were two likeable leads. The plot seemed interesting. Yeah. I was definitely excited for it to roll around. And, then, of course, COVID happened. And, now it’s on Netflix for all to enjoy… from home. Having now seen it, I gotta say… I wish it had hit the cineplex. Because this movie is funny. Like, really funny. I think it would’ve been a good group viewing. Instead, I just watched it at home by myself and, while enjoyable, I don’t feel like I got the full experience. It’s still a really solid comedy though and I laughed out loud more than a couple of times.
The plot of The Lovebirds is really nothing special. We’ve seen similar elements in about a hundred different movies or tv shows. Innocent civilians are pulled into a ring of crime after they were accidentally in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hilarity ensues as they react to the horrific things going on around them while they’re trying to escape. But, it’s a plot that works really well. We can all put ourselves in their shoes. How would we react? “Haha. It’s funny that he’s crying because I would definitely cry too.” You know. That kind of thing. And, this definitely is good for that. There are just enough scary or WTF moments to keep you going along for the ride.
However, I don’t think it would’ve worked half as well without our two leads: Nanjiani and Rae. As a couple on the verge of breaking up, their chemistry really shines through. I could see the love that they have for each other and the pain in their eyes whenever they talk about splitting up. Honestly, it kind of felt like the kind of performance you get when two actors are actually seeing each other. They’re that good. And, obviously, these two are funny as hell. They both have amazing comedic timing and their conversations had me chuckling the whole time. I especially liked their opening fight. It felt like the real, petty stuff that people argue over, but was hilarious. I hope these two do more together. I’m a big fan of each separately, but I think they work really well together too.
Lastly, I’ve gotta give a huge shout out to the marketing team. Like I said, I saw the trailer for The Lovebirds at least 20 times. I basically had it memorized. So, I anticipated knowing a lot of the funny lines before they were said. However, in this instance, I was wrong because they actually changed a lot of them. I don’t know if they actually filmed separate stuff for the trailers MCU style, just had different takes, or edited the movie after the marketing was released. It doesn’t matter though. It was just so refreshing to watch a comedy without having all the best lines spoiled in the trailer. More companies need to do this. Give us the feel of the movie, not the exact jokes.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Lovebirds. It’s not groundbreaking stuff. It’s fairly straightforward. You’ve seen movies like it before. But, the leads are just so likeable that it’s easy to spend an hour and a half going on an adventure with them.
TL;DR: Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae shine in the otherwise paint-by-number comedy The Lovebirds.
Score: 7/10 (Good)