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‘The Lovebirds’ is a Hilarious Murder Mystery With Crucial Commentary on Coupledom – Review

Originally slated to premiere at SXSW and have a theatrical release, The Lovebirds was one of many films that had to change its release tactics doe to the closure of theatres around the world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to find another way to reach its intended audience, The Lovebirds found a new place to nest through Netflix.

Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae) are a couple that finds themselves at a crossroads in their relationship. In the midst of trying to figure things out, Jibran accidentally hits a cyclist while driving down the streets of New Orleans. When a “cop” arrives at the car and tells them that the injured cyclist is a criminal, a chase ensues which spells a messy end for the cyclist with the officer disappearing, leaving Leilani and Jibran to clean up the mess. 

Unfortunately for the couple, they’re seen by another pair who promptly call the police to say that they witnessed a murder, believing that Jibran and Leilani are the culprits. This all ends in the duo on a run for their lives as they try to evade a bogus murder charge and people who want to get rid of them for what they’ve seen or believe they’ve done. Of course, a whirlwind of shenanigans take place in the midst of Leilani and Jibran trying their best to avoid the possible outcomes of the crazy day that’s befallen them. 

Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani in The Lovebirds (Courtesy of Netflix)

Nanjiani and Rae as the film’s protagonists are great in their respective roles of Jibran and Leilani. The comedic timing they both have makes for some of the film’s best moments and their line delivery is always on-point. As the film is centred around them and there is not as much interaction with other characters, Rae and Nanjiani do a great job of making the audience feel completely immersed in their story. Director Michael Showalter (who previously directed Nanjiani in The Big Sick), certainly got the best out of his leads and gave us a film that is certain to have the audience rolling. The chemistry the pair share is palpable throughout the film and lends to the believability of all the messiness that happens around them during the film’s entirety. Never once do you tire of the two and their antics, and they’re truly a treat to watch. I would definitely love to see the pair reunite for another film, for sure.

Written by Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall, The Lovebirds may be a film that others would drop into the rom-com category as being similar to films like Date Night. However, The Lovebirds truly stands out amongst the rest by providing us with leads that are hilarious and work well together, while the film provides viewers with genuine commentary on the ups and downs of relationships and coupledom that were a treat to watch. The film didn’t solely rely on its comedic aspects (which were great), but also found a way to give viewers an inside look at a couple that might reflect or share qualities similar to their own experiences in a relationship. It was not something that I was expecting from the film, but it was definitely a welcome piece to the puzzle.  

The Lovebirds is certainly a must-watch for any lovers of comedies that are coupled with an intriguing murder mystery plotline. It easily pairs its comedy with moments of seriousness that work extremely well and adds realism to the film that would otherwise feel a bit unbelievable due to the murder mystery aspect. It pairs hilarity with some of the best commentary on relationships (and what plagues them) from any movie I’ve seen in a long time.

Be sure to check out The Lovebirds when it arrives on Netflix on May 22. You won’t regret it!

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