Monday, June 29, 2020

Movie Monday: The Lovebirds

I am so behind in reviewing the movies we've watched! It's almost impossible to find time to write a second blog post on Mondays, after writing my What Are You Reading post (but Movie Monday has such nice alliteration!). Anyway, here is a review for a recent release that we enjoyed last month, The Lovebirds, a mystery-action-romance (yeah, hard to categorize).

Kumail Nanjani stars as Jibran, and Issa Rae stars as his girlfriend, Leilani. The movie opens with their first date, showing how they connected immediately. Before long, though, several months have passed, and we see the perfect couple arguing before a night out together. They head out, dressed up for a dinner party at a friend's house, but both the evening and their fight are interrupted when a cyclist comes out of nowhere and bounces off their car windshield. The two are both stunned, but the cyclist quickly jumps up and rides off, and a guy, played by Paul Sparks, jumps into their car and commandeers it, saying he is a police officer. The chase scene that follows is exciting at first, until Jibran and Leilani realize he's not chasing the cyclist to make sure he's OK or arrest him, but to make sure he is dead (you can see some of this, hilariously, in the trailer below). The supposed cop takes off, leaving bystanders to conclude that Jibran and Leilani killed the cyclist. From then on, the two lovebirds are caught up in a crime caper, trying to find the guy, who they nickname Moustache, who is the real killer in order to clear their names. The run all over the city (New Orleans), changing into ridiculous disguises purchased at a convenience store, breaking into places, and trying to outrun the police, who are looking for them, and solve the crime themselves. Of course, this was not just a simple hit-and-run, and the two unwittingly find themselves stuck in a web of lies and secrets involving some of the most powerful people in the city.

This movie is a whole lot of fun, filled with action-packed scenes, hilarious lines, outrageous situations, and a sweet love story, too. I'm a big fan of Kumail Nanjani, who co-wrote and starred in The Big Sick, a rom-com that is the real-life story of how he and his wife, Emily, met (also recommended). I've been listening to--and loving--Kumail and Emily's podcast, Staying In, during the pandemic. His wonderful sense of humor comes through in this role, and Issa Rae, who I was less familiar with, is very funny here, too. The mystery itself is twisty and unexpected and takes the pair all over the city. The setting was a delight for us as well; we used to live in New Orleans and love to see it on the screen, and it's a fun location for this crazy comedy caper. Kumail and Issa have great chemistry in their roles, and it's refreshing to see an interracial couple on-screen who are both people of color. It's a fun romp, and we enjoyed watching it!

The Lovebirds was originally planned for a theatrical release but was switched to a Netflix release because of the pandemic, so it is available on Netflix.

Have you seen The Lovebirds yet? What did you think?

You'll get a glimpse of the movie's humor and action in this trailer:

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