Film Review: <em>The Lovebirds</em>
Jun 04 2020

Film Review: The Lovebirds

By: Fritz Esker

Netflix's new comedy The Lovebirds was originally supposed to be released in theaters in early April, but the studio sold it to Netflix after the pandemic placed many spring releases in limbo. But the shot-in-New Orleans comedy/thriller only yields sporadic laughs.

After a charming opening introducing us to the main couple (Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae), the film fast forwards four years to when they are on the verge of breaking up. After they witness a murder, they end up on the run and trying to clear their names.

The biggest problem with The Lovebirds is one that plagues many modern comedies. It's indifferently scripted and plotted. It feels like the actors were just told to improvise and riff and that that would be enough for a good movie. Nanjiani is a gifted comedian who wrote and starred in 2017's excellent The Big Sick, so he earns a few laughs here and there, as does Rae. But no comedian's going to hit on every riff if asked to prop up an entire movie that way.

The crime/thriller elements don't need to be Chinatown, but they are just very half-baked here. If you're looking for a comic thriller that actually has a well-plotted script, watch 2018's Game Night instead.

** stars (out of four)


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