Only a handful of romantic action comedies are actually memorable. After 2020’s pandemic put a halt on all theatrical releases, Paramount Pictures made a deal with Netflix and ‘The Lovebirds‘ has now finally been released, six weeks later than initially planned. A lot of fun is to be had, but let’s make one thing clear, this was definitely meant to be released on Netflix.
A couple (Issa Rae and 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.
Rae basically plays her character in HBO’s Insecure, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone knows how funny Issa can be, we also know she can rap, but watching her sing ‘Firework’ by Katy Perry will make even the coldest of hearts defrost. It also helps that her and Nanjiani have the best on screen chemistry. From the moment they fall in love during the opening sequence, to the bickering throughout all the crazy situations they find themselves in, it just works on every level. This is the kind of movie Nanjiani desperately needed to get that bitter taste of 2019’s abomination ‘Stuber‘ out of our mouths.
Director Michael Showalter (creator of ‘Search Party‘) does a great job at creating some fun chase-sequences, although a bit basic, he knows how to keep it entertaining for at least two thirds of the film. Comedies aren’t known for clever scripts, they’re here to make us laugh, and that’s just what writers Aaron Abrams (Blindspot‘s Weitz), Brendan Gall and Martin Gero (both writers on Blindspot) are able to do. Not every joke lands and some scenes get a bit dragged out, but the ones that land will make you laugh out loud. Especially a scene with a frat boy, which combines Kumail’s physical comedy with Issa’s wittiness.
Reminiscent of 2010’s Date Night, starring Tina Fey and Steve Carell, it doesn’t explore any new territory, but it’s a fun 86 minutes to get your mind off things. The Lovebirds isn’t as romantic as the title suggests, but for sure is a (mostly) good time with two hysterical lovers, taking us on a personal journey through their relationship’s ups and downs while getting in all kinds of trouble.
Netflix Review – ‘The Lovebirds’
Reviewed on Netflix, May 22, 2020. Rating: 13+. Running time: 86 min.
PRODUCTION: A Netflix release of a Paramount Pictures, Quinn’s House, 3 Arts Entertainment, Media Rights Capital (MRC) production. Producers: Martin Gero, Tom Lassally (p.g.a.), Jordana Mollick (p.g.a.), Oly Obst, Todd Schulman (p.g.a.). Executive producers: Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall, Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Ben Ormand, Michael Showalter.
CREW: Director: Michael Showalter. Screenplay: Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall, Martin Gero. Camera: Brian Burgoyne. Editors: Vince Filippone, Robert Nassau. Music: Michael Andrews.
WITH: Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp, Nicholas X. Parsons, Kyle Bornheimer, Barry Rothbart, Catherine Cohen, Andrene Ward-Hammond, Lisha Wheeler.