“The Lovebirds” is another movie that was intended to go to theaters but has instead wound up on Netflix due to the global pandemic. Hopefully this means more people will watch this delightful romantic comedy.
“The Lovebirds” is the sort of rom-com that would probably go largely unnoticed on the big screen, especially in the first few months of the summer blockbuster season. But coming out on Netflix, where everybody can simply watch from the comfort of their own home, it should have a better chance at building an audience. And “The Lovebirds” deserves a big audience.
The movie doesn’t reinvent the rom-com wheel, but it’s the perfect quarantine date night film.
Jibran and Leilani are a cute couple on the verge of breaking up after several years of butting heads. But one night on their way to a party, they accidentally hit a bicyclist with their car, who then immediately gets up and runs off. The cyclist is being chased by a cop, who commandeers Jibran and Leilani’s car in order to chase down his suspect.
Only the “cop” repeatedly runs over the cyclist and then takes off himself. With no evidence to prove their innocence, Jibran and Leilani panic, deciding they have no choice but to find the killer themselves.
The strength of “The Lovebirds” lies with its two lead characters: Kumail Nanjiani as Jibran and Issa Rae as Leilani. The two have great chemistry, and the script does well by them when it comes to natural-sounding and charming dialogue. They make a very good onscreen pair, and that’s the sort of thing that carries a good romantic comedy.
I’ve been a fan of Nanjiani for a long time, so I knew he’d be good. I didn’t know Rae at all, but she easily holds her own alongside her screen partner. This was a good match.
The story isn’t anything too wild, crazy or amazing. It’s a little run-of-the-mill, but it works to keep the two leads butting heads and talking. The screenwriters at least came up with some pretty interesting adventures, like the couple needing to lie to their friends to unlock a cell phone that isn’t theirs, and the big scene where they secretly infiltrate a big, rich mask party. So it’s interesting stuff, at least.
In the end, a good romantic comedy rises and falls on the shoulders of its romance and its comedy, and “The Lovebirds” delivers both.