Not named after the classic song by The Cure, ‘The Lovecats’, which I got it mixed up with for about a month, The Lovebirds sees Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjini as a couple accidentally mixed up in series of crimes, all on the way to a dinner with friends. The things you do for your mates, eh?
It might sound pretty basic in terms of plot, but there’s actually a lot going for The Lovebirds, and I was pleasantly surprised. Nanjini and Rae have great chemistry together, with deadpan jokes and quick-witted comebacks I was half expecting for one to turn to camera and complain to us about the other. Sure, you might see some plot points coming a mile off, but Nanjini and Rae’s performances meant I wasn’t too fussed.
Self-aware of the run-time, the film gets your attention not by introducing a load of different sub-plots to get confused by.
It doesn’t make jokes not just for the sake of it, but actually refers back to those points later in the film and integrates them into the plot, which I genuinely really loved. Very few lines of dialogue are wasted this way; self-aware of the run-time, the film gets your attention not by introducing a load of different sub-plots to get confused by.
And almost all the loose ends are tied up pretty nicely at the end, given the 90 minute run time. Equally, it doesn’t take too long to get started – about ten minutes of introduction and then the real plot gets going; The Lovebirds seems to have got the structure of what (compared to a lot of films nowadays) is a relatively short film.
If you’re a fan of Nanjini’s The Big Sick (2017), like me, I would only say not to make comparisons; this is quite a different film. And if you haven’t seen The Big Sick, then add it onto your lockdown to-watch list…
Not a perfect film by normal standards but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a pretty great film by today’s standards. If a film manages to make you forget all this nonsense going on around us and gets a chuckle or two out of you, then they’ve done their job. The Lovebirds flies.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Last modified: 28th May 2020