Movie Review: The Lovebirds
The Lovebirds is about a couple who are at a turning point in their relationship where they have to decide to break up or stay together. Fate intervenes and they are thrown into a situation where they could be suspects in a murder investigation and have to put together the clues to clear their names and decide the ultimate fate of their relationship. It stars Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp, Kyle Bornheimer, Jaren Mitchell, Betsy Borrego, Mahdi Cocci, Adrene Ward-Hammond, and Moses Storm. It is directed by Michael Showalter and written by Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall with a story by Martin Gero. It is streaming exclusively on Netflix.
I haven't seen a new comedy in a long time that made me burst out laughing as much as this one. I love a comedy that knows what it is and just goes for it. So many comedies are very much a dramatic presentation with jokes or a comedy that gets really heavy handed with its reality. The Lovebirds is a nice mix of the two blending its wacky comedy with genuine emotion.
I've been exhausted lately by comedies that stretch over an hour and forty-five minutes (looking at you Apatow!) because there's so much filler that ends up in there. Yet, The Lovebirds clocks in under an hour and a half and feels breezy and light like I want in a comedy like this. It's really a credit to director Michael Showalter's timing more than anything else.
Michael Showalter is proving himself as adept behind the camera as he is in front of it. He and cinematographer Brian Burgoyne have built an incredible mood within The Lovebirds. There's nothing overly fancy in their setups or shots, but the scenes they create work to the advantage of the story. I love the sequence where Jibran and Leilani are on a fire escape attempting to break into an apartment. We're not close in on the two of them, we're not with them on the fire escape, we're inside the apartment with the sound lightly muffled, watching Jibran attempt to break the glass with his fist. It's hilarious.
Though, I will say the overall story left me a little cold. There are parts that are far too plot heavy and the arc is overly complicated and when most of it is tossed off by a character later on, I was disappointed. I spent too much time trying to figure out the mystery of it all that I lost focus on the character and comedy of it. I wanted much more of the couple because they're really amazing together.
Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae have an incredible chemistry. They play well matching each other's emotions from scene to scene. Sometimes when two comedic powerhouses get together on a film like this, one can over power the other, but Rae and Nanjiani were perfect as a couple. The best part is I really believed they could be a couple, they have fights and make up like a couple. The two of them singing Katy Perry's "Firework" in the back of a Lyft gave me a sense of pure joy. I wouldn't want a sequel to this film particularly, but if these two could develop a film series like Laurel and Hardy, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, or Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, I would be so in for all future projects.
In spite of its flaws, The Lovebirds is a hilarious comedy. It's all thanks to Rae and Nanjiani's electric chemistry with each other. I recommend you take a look for yourself and enjoy an evening with these two entrancing lovebirds.