Produced by Paramount Pictures, a new rom-com film makes its way to Netflix just in time for a fun movie night while you self-quarantine. While it might not be the best rom-com out there, its hilarious acting will still be sure to bring a smile to your face.
The Lovebirds, a new romantic comedy starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, released on Netflix last Friday, May 22.
Issa Rae has previously starred in the TV series Insecure and the film Little. You may also recognize Kumail Nanjiani from the films Stuber, or The Big Sick. Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall, and Martin Gero are the writers of this new action packed rom-com The Lovebirds, while Michael Showalter directed it.
The two main characters, Leilani (Issa Rae) and Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani), begin to fall for each other at the beginning of the film. Then, fast forwarding four years later, the film reveals the once madly in love couple fighting and mutually deciding to break up. Immediately after their decision to end the relationship, they find themselves strung along in an extremely chaotic adventure. From playing detective, outrunning danger, to hiding from the cops, the couple has to face all of this chaos together. This film tells a familiar story about the common struggles of relationships, while placing them in unrealistic scenarios.
One thing I really loved about this film was the realistic portrayal of couples in real life. From initial attraction at the beginning, to the fighting and bickering, all the way to falling in love with each other all over again, Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani really nailed this couple’s hilarious chemistry.
On the night The Lovebirds premiered, SXSW hosted a Q&A session with Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani through a livestream. One of the questions the interviewer asked is if they used improv in the movie at all. Kumail responded by saying they used improv in probably every scene of the movie.
“Issa and I work so well together we’re sort of on the same wavelength, so quick and funny,” he said. “Mike [Michael Showalter] really encouraged that, he really wanted us to get the script and then just try stuff.”
Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani’s talented improvisational performance really helped naturally build the realistic chemistry between these two characters.
Though the comedic acting between the couple’s chemistry was great, the overall plot of the film was nothing memorable.
The couple ends up in all kinds of difficult situations throughout the film. As they try to uncover a murderer so they don’t get mistakenly convicted, they navigate through suspicious clues as well as suspicious people. This does make it fun to watch and is meant to help the couple bond again, however sometimes these chaotic situations went a tad overboard to the point where the focus on the couple’s chemistry was lost at times. Though the movie had great acting between the couple thanks to Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, their lighthearted comedic style sometimes clashed awkwardly with the intense scenarios they found themselves in.
While watching The Lovebirds, it somehow all felt weirdly familiar to me. It was as if I’ve already seen tons of rom-coms just like it before, which I probably have. For the most part, the plot and ending was pretty predictable. I left the film thinking, ‘yea that was pretty good’, but will probably soon end up forgetting all about it due its lack of any new memorable content.
Overall, The Lovebirds is an enjoyable movie, plain and simple. The hilarious acting from both Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjani definitely helped put the comedy in rom-com. Sure, maybe some of the crazy plot scenarios didn’t quite realistically mesh well with the comedic couple. And maybe if it weren’t for the already loveable actors’ Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani the movie wouldn’t have gotten much attention at all. But if you’re looking for a simple, easy, fun movie to chuckle at while stuck in quarantine, give it a watch.
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Featured image credit: Paramount Pictures