Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are both talented comedic performers and their ability make much of Netflix's latest film "The Lovebirds" work.
Nanjiani plays Jibran and Rae portrays Leilani in "Lovebirds." The two are a couple who have hit a rough patch lately, but they're still planning to attend a party at a friend's house nonetheless.
On the way to said party, though, they hit a biker with their car in an accident. In the ensuing chaos, their car is taken by a supposed cop (Paul Sparks), who chases down the aforementioned bicycle rider and kills him. The apparent undercover cop then flees the scene, making it seem like Jibran and Leilani are the perpetrators, causing them to go on an adventure to clear their names.
While this comedy doesn't have the word "night" in the title, it does seem fairly similar to other, similar movies in the humor genre. The picture does share a common premise with the likes of 2010's "Date Night" or 2018's "Game Night."
As a result, the plot structure as a whole is fairly standard and doesn't take detours into unexpected territory. However, that doesn't mean the film is without its surprises.
There are some occasional wild moments that do come out of nowhere, and to the film's credit, they are pretty amusing. Watching the main characters have to react to these absurd situations on the fly is genuinely entertaining.
Of course, what makes a lot of this work are the performances by Nanjiani and Rae. On top of having a solid on-screen chemistry here, they also fit really well in these roles of your average people being put in these dangerous situations.
When it comes to the characters themselves, admittedly, Jibran can grate on the nerves a bit. The writing crew of Martin Gero, Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall, play into Nanjiani's ability for observational humor, but they could have dialed it back just a bit. The character Jibran just seems to over-explain things here and there.
The conflict between the characters seemed a bit unnecessary, too. Some bickering and banter wouldn't be a problem, but the full on drama of their relationship being in trouble, on top of the fact that criminals are after them, seems a little excessive in a movie that comes in under 90 minutes.
While "The Lovebirds" is formulaic and pushes the characters' dialogue into occasional annoying territory, though, it's still a fun comedy. The leads are good and their adventure is wacky enough to keep a viewer entertained. 3 out of 5.