With the influx of summer romances, Netflix has been delivering light entertainment to the audience. These are the kind of films that you snack in between the heavier binging of TV shows. ‘The Lovebirds’ is one of them. With two great actors in the lead, the film takes off as an adorable love story but proves to be much more, as the comedic prowess of the lead improves upon its familiar construct.
The Lovebirds Plot
Leilani and Jibran fall in love with each other on their first date. They find it impossible to think that something could tear them apart, but four years later, they find themselves at a crossroads. An argument about taking part in ‘The Amazing Race’ gets out of hand, and they say some very mean things to each other. After this, they find themselves in agreement to end the relationship.
All of this happens while they are on their way to a friend’s party. They are in the car, and just when they have said the words to mark their break-up, they hit a man. Before they can check on him, he rides off in his bicycle. Another man appears out of nowhere. He claims to be a cop and takes command of their vehicle to chase the bicycle man. Believing his claim of being a police officer, Leilani and Jibran help him corner the guy on a dead-end street. But before they can celebrate helping catch a criminal, the cop drives over the cycler, thrice.
Knowing that they have aided a murderer, they think about how they will explain this to the real cops. But when the murderer runs away, they are forced to accept the situation on its face value. They have nothing to prove their innocence.
The Lovebirds Review
In the legion of rom-coms available on Netflix, ‘The Lovebirds’ offers something different to its audience. There is crime, romance, thrill, and comedy. And though the film stumbles along the way, rarely finding the balance of all the genres it aims to tackle at once, it is an enjoyable watch, nonetheless.
The first and foremost thing that saves it from its numerous flaws is its lead pair. Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani take control of their characters effortlessly and have crackling chemistry between them, which infuses below-par scenes with charming humor. They are convincing as two people who click instantly, and they are relatable as a couple who can’t stop bickering with each other on the most trivial of things. They bring the necessary levity to the story, but there is also the sincerity in their portrayals that keeps us invested in them as the protagonists.
Another aspect of the film that adds a favorable tone to it is the manner in which it navigates the mystery at the center of it. It finds humor in torture scenes and gives the relationship enough time to mature in unexpected conversations. If the couple argues over serious things, they also bring some trifling discussions to a conclusion while witnessing an orgy!
Another thing that the film gets right is the portrayal of an interracial couple, none of whom is white. They are as normal as any other couple, and there is no big deal about them being people of color in a shady situation. The film doesn’t carve a special space to discuss race relations, but it doesn’t hesitate from finding humor in it either. The couple’s relentlessness to keep a distance between them and the cops is understood, but it never hits us in a ‘Get Out‘ sort of way.
The film balances the arc of a murder mystery with that of character development rather effectively, but it lags too much too many times to be better. Despite all the things that are great about it, it suffers from some very basic flaws. Even with the twists and turns, the script isn’t as taut as it could have been. There are a lot of times when it has to rely on the finesse of the actors to save itself. There are times when its mediocrity shows itself despite the sparkle of its leads. Still, the film manages to entertain throughout its runtime.
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