Rating – ★★½
Much like the relationship of Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae), I’ve hit a bit of a rough patch. Difference is mine lies with the rom-com genre in general. Whilst there are some directors that tackle the oversaturated market with the aim to mix things up a little, there’s still a high percentage of scripts that manage to make their way out of the briefing room, with the aim to simply make profit, regardless of how unoriginal it may be. The Lovebirds is somehow a bit of both.
Despite coming to the realisation that their relationship is going nowhere, Jibran and Leilani’s partnership is further tested when they are the witnesses of a murder, in which they are somewhat responsible for. With the two fitting the bill of racial profiling (an angle this movie takes often) and even being prime suspects at the scene, they decide becoming self-appointed investigators and capturing whoever is responsible themselves, is the only option to clear their names.
The Lovebirds’ success could be found with its leads. Kumail and Issa have great on-screen chemistry, and they create the most out of an otherwise flimsy script. Not all jokes hit, in fact I’d argue that the majority don’t, but those that do, work massively in its favour. The two encounter a night that is unlike most you’re likely to ever experience and the further down the rabbit hole the pair go, the funnier it becomes.
It feels oddly reminiscent of a few rom-com’s, some of which achieved more with their narrative’s than The Lovebirds could. It felt somewhat restrained, despite having the ingredients of something more fresh and unexpected, which at this point we really should be aiming for.
Another ‘fine’ movie to add to Netflix’ showroom, but another movie that had the potential to be something more than what was offered. Kumail and Issa earn most of my praise for their charismatic performances, but they’re bogged down by a script that couldn’t offer quite enough to elevate the movie with them.