Netflix’s ‘The Lovebirds’ follows the story of Leilani and Jibran. It had been love at first date for them. However, four years later, they discover that they have lost the spark. Jibran is too private, and Leilani is too indulgent. They find it best to part ways, but before they can do that, a bizarre situation presents itself.
A man is killed by their car, but they were not the ones driving it. However, because of the way it looks, they are convinced that the cops would never accept their innocence. So, they decide to solve the case themselves. The story leads them into many peculiar situations, but the heart of it remains in the bond between them. How does the film get this right? Is it based on a real couple? Here’s the answer.
Is The Lovebirds based on a true story?
No, ‘The Lovebirds’ is not based on a true story. Directed by Michael Showalter, it is based on a screenplay by Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall. The film is a twist on romantic comedies and throws murder in the mix to create tension between the characters. The film feels similar to another Netflix movie, ‘Murder Mystery’ starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, a drama that follows the story of a couple who become suspects of a murder they did not commit. It adds another dimension to the story by bringing a cult into the picture, which looks a lot like the one in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. ‘The Lovebirds’ uses all these different elements to create a unique premise.
One of the best things about the film is Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani’s chemistry. However, initially, the film was written with a white couple in mind. When Rae and Nanjiani came on board, they tweaked some things to make it more real and relatable to the audience. Though the angle of an interracial relationship doesn’t directly affect the plot, the representation of such a couple in movies is not a usual thing, which is what made the lead pair all the more impactful. “It’s not a story about race but we wanted to acknowledge our race and the fact that we’re an interracial couple,” said Rae in an interview with EW.
As for making the characters and their relationship realistic, while also staying within the confines of a romantic comedy, Rae and Nanjiani took inspiration from their favorite films. Nanjiani found the bickering of Jibran and Leilani a vital part of their relationship. It is the representation of how much they know each other, which is why they can use intimate things against each other while arguing.
Getting this part right was extremely important, and so was the one where two amateurs try to solve an intriguing mystery. He channeled the lessons he had learned after watching ‘Thin Man’. On the other hand, Rae relied on ‘The Break-up’ to see how couples fight and how petty squabbles affect a relationship. In the end, for both of them, it was not about what it takes for their characters to get back together, but what it takes to stay together.
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