One, two, three reasons to watch The Lovebirds on Netflix right now
There’s good reason The Lovebirds has ranked in Netflix’s Top 10 since its premiere on the streaming service.
To keep in the spirit of the “one, two, three, go!” countdowns that factor into the movie’s scenes, let’s talk about three other reasons you should watch.
1. A Refreshing Mix of Chemistry
Rom-coms don’t work without good chemistry, right? The Lovebirds stars Issa Rae as Leilani and Kumail Nanjiani as Jibran, and their chemistry isn’t just good; it’s great!
I loved Rae’s performance in Little. I was most excited to see Marsai Martin in that movie because Diane is my favorite character on Black-ish. Martin didn’t disappoint, but Rae ended up stealing the show. I was psyched when I watched the trailer for The Lovebirds and saw she was in it. That alone made me want to watch.
With Rae and Nanjiani starring in the film, we have two very talented actors coming together, but I didn’t know if they had the chemistry to pull it off.
And, that’s the genius of these two together. Uniting these two personas is pure magic. It didn’t even take two minutes to erase any doubts that they wouldn’t work or be believable as a couple.
They’re just fun to watch together. As one Slate reviewer put it, this movie a 2020 update on a 1940s genre where a once happy couple spends the majority of the movie rediscovering why they’re not as miserable together as they thought. And, that’s exactly what it is.
2. The Situations
Just like the “romantic” part of a rom-com needs chemistry, the comedy needs humor. The Lovebirds draws on a comedy of errors to fit the bill.
It starts with Leilani and Jibran falling in love. It goes from that euphoric state of meeting and connecting with someone new to fast-forwarding four years later to what their settled, “real” relationship looks like, and it’s not all smiles, kisses and happiness anymore.
It’s real. They disagree. (Could they win The Amazing Race or not? Leilani says yes, but Jibran says no way.) They get on each other’s nerves. They have scheduled intimacy (much to Leilani’s chagrin).
Just as they realize what they had is over and it’s time to move on, they hit a bicyclist. At first, he seems okay, but then their car gets commandeered — or is it carjacked? — by a cop — or is he?
He says he’s a cop, but when he catches the cyclist and hits him again and again and again Leilani and Jibran realize whatever he is, he’s a bad man, one who sets his sights on killing them next until he’s interrupted and flees the scene.
But that leaves Leilani and Jibran all alone when a hipster couple enters the alley where their smashed car and the cyclist’s body is. They, of course, think Leilani and Jibran have done it.
Now, it’s Leilani and Jibran’s turn to flee the scene on a count of three. But Leilani doesn’t get the message. More proof their just not on the same page and Splitsville would be best for them?
Jibran actually wants to go to the police, but as a black woman, Leilani fears the cops will automatically hold their ethnicities against her and Jibran.
They decide that finding the killer themselves is the only way to clear their names. It’s not the most original storyline, but the movie is set in New Orleans. One thing that city doesn’t lack is characters.
One, two, three… do they ever coordinate their reactions without talking when they do the countdown? Not in the barn where they’re given a choice between hot bacon grease to the face or what’s behind door number one. (Since I’m pretty sure that’s in the trailer, Jibran is the lucky recipient of a kick to the chest from a horse. It’s even funnier when you watch the whole scene unfold.)
From breaking into a frat guy’s room and slap fighting him to finding themselves with a bunch of rich people masquerading with plague doctor masks at an orgy, The Lovebirds find themselves in some hilariously compromising situations.
3. The Dialogue
The Lovebirds isn’t written by writers known for their comedy per se, but they might get that rap after this movie.
However, Aaron Abrams, Brendan Gall and Martin Gero have all worked together on Blindspot, and they do weave together an action-packed mystery among the romance and comedy.
But it’s the one-liners, clever plays on words (one that’s too R-rated to repeat but that was my fave involved Chuck E. Cheese), and the witty repartee between Leilani and Jibran that really help make this movie a very fun, feel-good, Netflix new release.
If you’re looking for a movie to bring some levity to your life, watch The Lovebirds and let me know if it makes you laugh.