A couple meet up and fall in love at first sight. Leilani (Issa Rae) & Jirban (Kumail Nanjiani) are in absolute heaven while in each other’s company and are smitten with romance. Fast forward to the present day, the two are now living together and have several frustrations with each other, to the point they both realise the relationship is coming to an end.
But while the two are driving together, they witness a murder, the circumstances making it look as though they are the ones who have committed the crime. Rather than turn themselves in to police, the two decide to go on the run as fugitives and attempt to prove their innocence by finding out the truth.
For those who are not aware, this film was intended for the big screen, but due to Covid-19, the film was redirected and released exclusively on Netflix, Australia.
Watching the film, I was generally pleased with the film’s opening act. On a performance level, it felt compelling and believable that the two were just head over heels in love. The two characters also have different quirks from each other and I enjoyed seeing the leads play off one another. One example of this is how often Jirban (Kumail Nanjiani) overthinks and makes long rants about the smallest things in life. Some examples include him questioning why cigarette lighters are still in cars or why people get given a metal milkshake cup instead of a throwaway plastic cup.
The Lovebirds is a comedy with an excellent opportunity for humour, and the chemistry between the leads is satisfying and convincing. But for me, this film misses the mark on so many levels due to the film’s script. So many jokes fall flat, and the attempted jokes and dialogue just keep going on and on to the point that some scenes become frustrating to watch. Also, the third act of this comedy is rather weak and somewhat sillier compared to the prior events. That being said, as a comedy, I accept the fact that this is just my opinion, and some movie lovers may find this film’s type of humour rather pleasing.
Overall, while The Lovebirds seems like a brainless romantic comedy and the chemistry between the leads is pleasing, as a film, it’s merely a missed opportunity. With jokes that regularly fall flat, the dialogue often sticks to the same joke and keeps going on and on. This isn’t a fault of any of the actors and talent- I simply blame the script which uses the same formula to try and deliver random jokes for the whole duration. For me, it just didn’t work, which is a shame as I was personally keen to support this film. That being said, I still feel some movie lovers may find this type of comedy satisfying.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden