The Lovebirds (2020)
May 25, 2020 7:56 PM - Subscribe

A couple (Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani) experiences a defining moment in their relationship when they are unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery. Streaming in the US via Netflix.
posted by Etrigan (9 comments total)
This was... sufficient? It never really deviated from the log line or the trailer -- "Couple gets framed for murder; hijinks and violence ensue!", with the slight exception of the twist that they were about to break up. The leads ended up doing pretty much all of the work in keeping me interested (though "Kumail workshops a standup bit" got just as tiresome for me as it was for Rae's character after the third or fourth time).

Decent enough background movie, where you can look up every now and then when something good happened.
posted by Etrigan at 6:05 AM on May 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

"Paper thin plot with utterly charming leads" is how I've been describing it to my friends. And people who feel like watching something like that have thanked me for the recommendation.
posted by gaspode at 6:16 AM on May 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

It reminded me a lot of Tina Fey's Date Night -- though I prefer Date Night, because that movie just kept getting bigger and weirder as it went on. I enjoyed the first half of the Lovebirds more than the second half. I think they weren't entirely sure whether they wanted to focus on the relationship or the zany antics, and I might've preferred more zany antics. Like...that Eyes Wide Shut scene was a blip. You already rented the auditorium and paid a bunch of extras. Why not let it breathe a little?

But it was fine! Solid B+ for a Netflix movie, more of a C- for a theater-release.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:41 AM on May 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Netflix really, really wants me to watch this movie. Good to know it's watchable, I'll probably put it on sometime.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:55 AM on May 26, 2020

This was fine. I like Ray and Nanjani a lot and will hope for better material for them in the future.

It made me think of Game Night a bit, which is a superior movie. How many of these dates-gone-awry movies are there?
posted by jeoc at 2:39 PM on May 26, 2020

Totally agreeing with the Date Night and Game Night comparisons. I didn't even want to watch this initially because while I really liked Date Night, Game Night really just didn't work for me. IMHO, it's a weaker movie than Date Night because as grandiloquiet pointed out it doesn't really push the envelope on weirdness. It also falls short of Game Night because that movie had a much stronger and funnier supporting cast.

Really charming leads with good chemistry (and let's face it, I love everything Issa Rae does and want to be her when I grow up), but there's not nearly enough plot in this to do their awesomeness justice. Even so, I can't ding it too hard because it all those other date-gone-awry movies suffer from the same problems, and at the end of the day you can't go too wrong with watching funny and attractive people banter for a couple hours.
posted by blerghamot at 10:58 AM on May 27, 2020

How does it compare with Murder Mystery, where a married couple (Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler) experiences a defining moment in their relationship when they are unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery (Streaming via Netflix)?
posted by Monochrome at 9:44 PM on May 27, 2020

I think I liked this more than other people here. I don't really know why that is--might be that I love the main actors, might be that I am apparently a sucker for people getting caught in the middle of these ridic situations. I enjoyed Date Night, and absolutely loved Game Night. It might go all the way back to After Hours or something formative from my younger years, who knows. (I haven't watched Murder Mystery, though, since I despise both lead actors and just can't make myself go there, even though the premise sounds totally up my alley.)

I think what I enjoyed most was the scene where the bad guy kills Bicycle, the way they both just sit there staring blankly, paralyzed, realizing they're in some horrific situation where before they thought they were part of a cool chase scene, and when she slaps the baby "Brett Kavanaugh" around to get information from him while she's wearing a unicorn hoodie. Nanjiani and Rae have major chemistry, which will carry me through anything.

I do wish they'd done more with the Eyes Wide Shut thing--that really felt truncated and I could happily have done with more, especially in the lobby when they're trying desperately to mingle. And the killings themselves felt way more intense than I'd expect from a comedy, the running over Bicycle and the way the kid in the apartment got taken out were very upsetting. I also wished they had done a little more with the setting--New Orleans is full of so places that can create a creepy vibe, but the streets are mostly empty background here, and I'd have loved a little more French Quarter dark magic flair. Also wished they'd have done a little more with Kyle Bornheimer, because he always makes me laugh on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Anna Camp is always great, but the focus on her meant we didn't get to see much from him.

Still, I had a good time watching it, and would happily watch again.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 2:17 PM on May 31, 2020

I had read about this movie via Lakshmi and Asha's terrific newsletter which talks a lot about race in popular media (linked in the sidebar) and is helpful for me as a librarian especially how it wasn't just putting two actors of color into a stock generic romcom. They seemed to like it more than the average reviewers. They said:
Lakshmi: I want to take a second to note that I loved that both main characters have ethnic names! Leilani! Jibran! Plus their friends are super diverse and the diversity of the city is acknowledged, it was so nice to see.

Asha: Kumail’s character has a two-syllable name, too! I'm floored. I’m so glad Kumail got to play a character that wasn’t named Raj, or Dev, or Mo! And yes, it was nice to see a diverse group of friends on screen (even if we didn't spend much time with them) and a diverse city.
It was funny to see Paul Sparks (from House of Cards) as a NOLA bad guy and yeah too bad we only got a glimpse of Kyle Bornheimer. I enjoyed how Mahdi Coccin as Keith the hacker winds up getting a teeny redemption arc, I was sorry to not learn more about some of their other friends.
posted by jessamyn at 1:35 PM on June 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

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