Before its cancellation, SXSW was scheduled to see the premiere of some of the year’s most promising movies. One of the most intriguing was The Lovebirds. Starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, the romantic comedy is about a couple that goes on the run after witnessing a murder. Originally set to hit theaters in April, the movie is now debuting on Netflix May 22.
The Lovebirds is reminiscent of studio era Hollywood. A couple is experiencing problems. They unintentionally reignite their love after becoming amateur detectives. The premise is such a popular one because it can be a good film with the right cast. It has all the elements loved in rom-coms mixed with the intrigue of detective stories. It is a ready made movie that only needs the right duo to bring out its full potential.
Rae and Nanjiani are hilarious as the troubled couple. The two work off each other effortlessly. One fear of two incredibly funny people working together is they may spend the whole time trying to one up each other. This is never the case here as there is a natural ebb and flow to their comedy that makes The Lovebirds very enjoyable.
The other important ingredient is whether the audience will root for them as a couple. It is a very thin line between romantic and sappy. Again, The Lovebirds does a great job of walking that line. The movie may be a comedy and a mystery, but it never forgets that at the core is a struggling couple.
These are some of the film’s strongest moments. In between all the great comedy and so so action is a couple who love each other. They exchange knowing glances and there is a feeling of genuine love here. More than anything else, this separates The Lovebirds from similar movies.
Romantic comedies (not to be confused with rom-com’s) have a long and illustrious history in Hollywood. The genre packed theaters in the 1940s and has viewers glued to their televisions in the 21st century. A new film entering into the genre has a lot to live up to. Thanks to its hilarious writing and a fun script, The Lovebirds is a welcome addition.
The Lovebirds premieres on Netflix May 22.