The hook is bomb.
And the payoff is huge.
Netflix hit the jackpot with their latest romcom.
You know how some movies are ideal to watch on a plane? You know how that’s usually an
insult? Given the times we see living in it’s welcome. Some films are pure escapism and
entertainment and that’s what you will find with Netflix’s latest, The Lovebirds.
With Michael Showalter at the helm, it was no surprise I really dug this Netflix original. After all,
Showalter directed 2 of my favorite films from the last 10 years with Hello, My Name is Doris
and The Big Sick. He has a real knack for comedic nuance in storytelling that lifts the material
from “pretty good popcorn flick” to “pretty good film.”
This film is SMART but doesn’t try to make an important statement on really anything. It has
moments, sure, but it really exists… to… simply… entertain. And that’s totally fine.
In The Lovebirds, Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae play a couple – Jibran and Leilani, respectively,
with a relatable issue who get caught up in the muck and mire of the unthinkable. It’s the bones
of a base romantic comedy that should be predictable and a paint by the numbers but in
Director Michael Showalter’s capable hands it never plays to it stereotype; it stays original – you
never really know where it’s going exactly – and swift, clocking in at 87 minutes.
The Lovebirds opens with a comedic bang – an argument about a reality TV show followed by a
a real downer – a breakup. Jibran (Nanjiani) and Leilani (Rae), agree to call it quits after 4 years
enroute to a friend’s dinner party. That’s when a cyclist rams right into their windshield and a
random guy claiming to be a cop jumps in their car and runs down Bicycle Man – killing him –
before running away and leaving these lovebirds holding the bag. What happens next is
entertaining as hell.
Showalter and his dynamic duo deliver a rock star farce that feels authentic and ALWAYS
funny. Despite a few holes in script the screenplay by Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall is
SOLID packed with insane situation and hysterical hyjinks.
You gotta applaud a film that manages to include a series of insane near-death experiences,
involving a killer only known as “Mustache” (an incredible Paul Sparks), a pissed off Senator’s
wife (am intense Anna Camp), a masked sex cult out straight out of Eyes Wide Shut, an
awkward duet to Katy Perry’s “Firework”… all under 2 hours. It’s a lot and there are holes but
their minimal and when you’re having fun who cares?
That’s what The Lovebirds is all about: fun. Pure fun. Trivial? Sure. On the surface? Yeah. But who cares! We all need a little something like
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Tristan Layne Tapscott has been dubbed the “Quad Cities’ P.T. Barnum” and although the person who initially said it meant it as an insult, he happily accepts the title.