Having been together for four years, Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae) have hit a slump in their relationship. They fight all the time, about utter nonsense, and question whether this is working anymore. One night, they find themselves unwittingly smack in the middle of a murder mystery. Forced on the run, the couple realises the only way to clear their name is to solve the crime.
Originally set for theatrical release, 'The Lovebirds' was meant to hit cinemas in April. It has since made its way to Netflix and the fact that it bypassed the big screen is probably not a great loss. Netflix rom com offerings tend to, with a few exceptions like 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' and 'Set It Up', be mediocre and forgettable. They're also plentiful - only last week 'The Wrong Missy' dropped. It's god awful, but the fact that it was the most viewed movie on Netflix worldwide shows audiences are eager, at times like these, for easy-to-watch comedies. 'The Lovebirds' is just that. Moreover, it's not as terrible as 'The Wrong Missy'.
Issa Rae, known for 'Insecure' and 'Little', and Kumail Nanjiani of 'Silicon Valley' and 'The Big Sick' fame, are natural comics and very charismatic. You wouldn't say their chemistry here is anything to write home about. But then they are meant to be playing a couple struggling to find a spark. They have some cute couple moments, for example, when they sing together, terribly, and attempt an interrogation, also terribly. The topic of race is integrated but never used in a hammy way. Jibran and Leilani are convinced that based on their race, the cops won't believe them. Later, there's a very funny moment when the police are passing them by, glaring, and they think they've been caught only to realise, "they're just regular racists, thank God."
Generally speaking, there isn't a lot that sets 'The Lovebirds' apart. It has its moments, for example, when Jibran and Leilani are debating what's a documentary series and what's reality TV; and later when they manage to get into this crazy 'Eyes Wide Shut'-esque cult, there are some big laughs. Anna Camp ('Pitch Perfect') pops up at one point in as a politician's wife in a sequence that struggles. Generally speaking, it's a fun movie, but just ok. For a Netflix night in, you could do worse.