Michael Showalter (director)
1h 26mins (length)
21 May 2020 (released)
23 May 2020
The Lovebirds was originally supposed to be released in cinemas in April, but after they closed due to the coronavirus crisis, Paramount Pictures sold the rights to Netflix - which should have been the home for this breezy comedy all along.
In the movie, Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae play Jibran and Leilani, a couple who fight constantly about everything.
During a drive one day, they mutually come to the realisation that they should break up, but before they can digest this information, a man (Paul Sparks) claiming to a police officer commandeers their car and uses it to kill a man on a bicycle before fleeing the scene, leaving them looking like the murderers of two bystanders.
Jibran and Leilani must work together to follow the clues to solve the mystery and figure out a way to clear their names.
This romantic comedy/crime caper hybrid is formulaic, lightweight, and basically comprised of the couple using the clues to lead them through a variety of surreal and bizarre set pieces, with scenes of them bickering scattered throughout.
Even though it is all a bit ridiculous, The Lovebirds is still pretty fun to watch and the dialogue during Jibran and Leilani's squabbles is filled with good jokes. The plot isn't super clear, but that comes second to the comedy anyway, and it's an enjoyable ride regardless.
Nanjiani and Rae had no romantic chemistry whatsoever, so they were not convincing as a couple in love, but worked well together when they were having petty arguments - and both sold the physical comedy.
Nanjiani was particularly funny and gave his all to make his lines work, while Rae was a good partner in crime, although her character stayed in high heels for far too long. Keep an eye out for Anna Camp, who has a small and bizarre part!
Netflix buying The Lovebirds makes a lot of sense as it feels similar in quality to many of its other films. Sure, it is completely predictable and forgettable, but it will make you smile - which is what we all need right now.
The Lovebirds debuts on Netflix on 22 May.