“Did you think it was one of those ‘men only’ doors?”
In times like these, we look for any type of break from reality — most often through comedic films. In this case, The Lovebirds fits that comedy escape. The Lovebirds stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani as Leilani and Jibran, a couple who’s thrust into a world of blackmail, murder, and underground cults. Originally set for release in theaters — now released through Netflix —The Lovebirds tugs at your funny bone and creates a movie that is great choice for some simple entertainment.
The Lovebirds begin how all romantic comedies starts, with a meet cute. You see Leilani and Jibran on their first date, and what begins as a simple flirtation, blossoms into a relationship. Smash cut and we find the couple in their fourth year of being together — losing a bit of spice in their lives. The arguments aren’t few and far between, but rather, the fights take up a good part of their day. At their wits end, they start one of their biggest fights as Jibran calls Leilani self-absorbed, and Leilani tells Jibran that he’s content on being a failure. They decide that maybe they should break up, and in their immediate grief, a man on a bike smashes through the windshield. The bloodied man drops his phone, and proceeds to get away, when a creepy mustache man jumps into the vehicle claiming he’s a cop, but Mustache Man is not a cop. The young couple, on the outs of their relationship, must work together to find the source of these killings while battling alt-right political officials, dumb frat-guys, and a wealthy well-to-do cult that takes its inspiration from Stanley Kubrick’s, Eyes Wide Shut.
Now I may be one of the few that actually enjoyed The Lovebirds, but I can’t deny that I found this movie to be consistently funny. To be fair, if any other duo had been involved, it would not have worked. Rae, most known for her hilarious work in HBO’s, Insecure, is a pistol. Her flawless chemistry with Nanjiani is what really makes this such a fun movie to watch. Nanjiani and director, Michael Showalter, have previously worked with each other in The Big Sick. And though I still love The Big Sick more, The Lovebirds isn’t too far behind.
The film is full of fantastic quotes from the sharp tongued Leilani as she rips into Jibran a few times, causing him to be on his toes and fire back. Early in the movie, their adventurous evening begins with them arguing about whether they would be able to win The Amazing Race. Jibran’s distain for the reality show is so pronounced, Leilani asks if he has ever even seen The Amazing Race. To which he answers, “I haven’t been hit by a bus, but I know it would suck.” The Lovebirds comedic timing is so well done as it often finds humor in the little things. The scene at the diner is a personal favorite as Jibran questions the ways of making a milkshake. The jokes similar to these flow through the movie and tend to catch you by surprise. It’s as though Rae and Nanjiani are putting on a comedy show with jokes about everyday life being at the forefront of their monologue.
I’d be lying if I said that I disliked The Lovebirds. Though I can clearly see why some of the comedy may not live up to others standards, I can’t help but enjoy it. The comedy genre has its faults — in general — when it comes to story, so in that regard I find it tough to dislike The Lovebirds as compared to any other comedy film within the last 10 years. The Lovebirds is an entertaining film that hilariously highlights Rae and Nanjiani’s comedic talents.
Directed by: Michael Showalter
Starring: Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Sparks, Kyle Bornheimer, and Anna Camp