An average Comedy with a few genuinely funny moments, that centres around a bunch of situations that would never happen in real life.
Director: Michael Showalter
Screenwriter: Aaron Abrams
Starring: Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Sparks
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Runtime: 86 Minutes
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by: Pearl
After getting mixed up in a murder plot and inadvertently making things SOOOO much worse for themselves, rocky couple Jibran and Leilani decide to try and figure out what they have gotten themselves into. And boy do they get themselves into some sticky situations.
Poor Poor Kumail Nanjiani. He just can’t catch a comedic break. The ‘Big Sick’ was great, then he had an unlucky run in with ‘Stuber,’ ‘Men in Black International,’ and ‘Doolittle’ so his filmography of late has not got that many gems in it. So I was already a little apprehensive about this. Which is a shame, because he tends to be one of the best parts of the comedy films that I see him in, but he just keeps landing crummy films. And while points have to be awarded here for the delivery of one of the most chaotic scripts I have ever witnessed, the fast dialogue isn’t enough to make this film better.
Issa Rae gives this role a pretty good try, but I find Leilani to be a pretty unlikeable character, and that is no reflection on her performance. I just didn’t connect with her and found her constant ability to make the WORST decisions in every situation, incredibly frustrating.
The plot is a little convoluted. There is a murder plot, a sex cult, blackmail, some of the most cringeworthy interrogation scenes I have ever seen. It gets crazy chaotic, none of the events of the film are even remotely plausible so a huge suspension of belief is necessary to get through it, but I feel like that might be a product of it’s genre. Comedies as rule aren’t known for their amazing plots. Which is why you can basically guess the entire time what is going to happen almost minute to minute, right down to the secretive sex cult.
The arguments and interactions between Leilani and Jibran are the main source of comedy here. So if after the first fifteen minutes you don’t find their constant over the top bickering funny, I have some bad news for you. Its lasts for the entire film, and barely lets up, so I would give up fairly early on. It wasn’t exactly my kind of humour, and it got mighty old towards the end of the film, but there were a couple moments that made me genuinely laugh out loud, so I guess on some level the film did it’s job. The tender moments between the characters, and there are one or two, are nice to add a little depth to the characters, but not frequent enough to feel like we really get to know their characters at all.
It’s not original, but it is pretty funny at times, so for a quick pick me up in these dire times, I guess it’s worth your time. ‘The Lovebirds’ is streaming now on Netflix.