The Lovebirds

Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani in 'The Lovebirds.' (Skip Bolen/Netflix)
Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani in 'The Lovebirds.' (Skip Bolen/Netflix)
Skip Bolen/Netflix


3/5 Stars


On the brink of breaking up, a couple gets unintentionally embroiled in a bizarre murder mystery. As they get closer to clearing their names and solving the case, they need to figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night.


I was so excited to watch The Lovebirds after the trailer dropped in January. It was just so totally outrageous, and after a mediocre performance by Issa Rae in The Photograph, I looked forward to seeing her back in a comedic role.

I was beyond thrilled when I heard that Netflix picked up the movie after the coronavirus pandemic halted the theatrical release. Which also meant that more people would have a front-row seat to these two comedy heavyweights doing what they do best – fierce, funny, and compelling storytelling with a political edge.

When we first meet Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae), they are in the honeymoon phase. Everything is exciting, and our lovebirds are hopelessly in love. But flash forward four years, their relationship isn't so rosy anymore and the quirks that were once adorable now set off a heated argument.

On their way to a party, the pair decide that it's time to call it quits, but then something unexpected happens. What follows is a story filled with plot twists and unpredictable turns that lead to a murder mystery that needs to be solved. 

Right off the bat, the dialogue, delivery and the chemistry between Leilani and Jibran will have you rolling on the floor. The Lovebirds is the funniest movie I've seen this year, but the genius lies in the subtle way the movie tackles important and serious topics like racism and police brutality.

The film is smart in the way it highlights the racial bias in the American police system - a topic that is currently making headlines worldwide with the tragic death of George Floyd. 

Leilani, a black woman, and Jibran, a Pakistani-American witness a crime, but their mistrust in the police see them go on the run because they don't think the police will believe their explanation for being at the crime scene.

The chemistry between Issa and Kumail is unmistakable, and even when they are disagreeing, it is entertaining to watch. The two are just that great at fighting!

Their problems are so relatable and have all of us not questioned a relationship based on a hypothetical question, or is it just me? 

The Lovebirds is more comedy than romance, but I really don't care. The plot is outrageous, there's blackmail, kidnapping, murder, cults, orgies, and the jokes keep landing.

The movie doesn't play into the stereotypical "over-the-top-running-through-the-airport-show-of devotion" rom-com tropes; instead, it's about a couple who work together to claw their way out of a chaotic situation.

I know that relationships are hard, but who knew that all it took to save your crumbling relationship is a night of solving an outrageous murder mystery.



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