Life without Netflix during lockdown would be daunting for many of us. This streaming site has given us many hits and many misses. A big miss was the rom-com "The Lovebirds" released on May 22.
The trailer seemed promising, as did the cast (Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae!). A fun, quirky couple who goes into a series of unanticipated adventures, what was there to not love about it? We usually like these gimmicks because there is not much depth to the stories and they are light and easy on our brains.
Watch the trailer of "The Lovebirds" here
But here is where "The Lovebirds" did not fly and remained seated on the ground for approximately 87 minutes. There was nothing coherent in the entire film and humour was stretched like a chewing gum which had lost flavour.
Jibran (Kumail) and Leilani (Issa) are a couple way past their honeymoon period and they constantly fight over petty issues. There was nothing fun about it.
One day, while bickering and driving to a party, they realise that they should get separated. But a stranger gets inside the car and forcefully takes the wheel.
He tells the frightened couple that he is a cop and chases and runs over another stranger on a bicycle. After the mystery murderer runs away, Jibran and Leilani figure out that he is definitely not a cop.
But, by this time, witnesses begin to gather around the dead body and one of them calls 911. Sensing danger, Jibran and Leilani begin to flee the scene. The girl describing Leilani to the police over the phone starts to talk about her shoes and how nice they are. Not funny, again.
The couple is afraid to go to the police because of their racial profiling (the only real thing mentioned in the film).
They go to a dollar store and change their clothes. Leilani wears a full unicorn costume – yes, dazzling rainbow colours from head to toe. Jibran also wears equally absurd shiny clothes. It becomes painful to watch.
From here, the story begins to crumble away further like those cheap brown cookies. They decide to solve the murder mystery and begin tracking down people and events with the help of the dead cyclist's phone. (Somehow, during the hit and run incident, they got hold of his phone).
If you are still interested to know what happens in the end, you probably have guessed it already. Jibran and Leilani decide to give another shot at their relationship and stick together. Does the happy ending save the film? Nope!
Kumail Nanjiani is an amazing comedian, but after watching this film, it was hard to believe that he was the same person who gave us "The big sick" (a must watch for those who have not). Michael Showalter directed both films, so that was surprising as well. How do you execute one film so perfectly and the next one so poorly?
"The Lovebirds" is an example of how a combination of good actors and bad script can create something drab. Comedy is surely not everyone's game.