The Lovebirds Launches On Netflix

Issa Rae as Leilani, Kumail Nanjiana as Jibran of "The Lovebirds" from NETFLIX. Photo credit: Skip Bolen/NETFLIX

The Lovebirds, starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae, is set to be released on Netflix this weekend after the theatrical release got canceled.

Everything is about to change for Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani (Issa Rae).  Without intending to do so, the duo find themselves caught up in a crime.  Given that this is a comedy, it’s naturally a comedy of errors when it comes to clearing their name.  Will their relationship be able to survive the night–that is, if they are able to survive the night?!?

The 87 minutes of madness reminds me of Shawn Levy’s Date Night starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey.  While that film dealt with a case of mistaken identity, The Lovebirds is something else.  How many comedies do you watch where a demented senator’s wife kidnaps the main characters?  Or almost get initiated into an underground sex cult?  I’m just saying–the antics in this film can easily rival that which we saw just over a decade ago.

There’s certainly one moment in the film that will wake you up if you’re struggling.  It comes when the two characters start singing to Katy Perry’s “Firework.”  You can’t help but want to dance along with their singing!  But in all honesty, this is the kind of moment that helps to carry the momentum home.

In a perfect world, Paramount Pictures would have launched the film during the 2020 SXSW Film Festival.  An April release was set to follow.  Unfortunately, the world had other plans in mind.  Maybe the red carpet premiere will happen down the line.  Who knows–these are truly uncertain times.

This isn’t the first time that Paramount unloaded a film on Netflix.  It happened two years ago with The Cloverfield Paradox while Netflix release Annihilation globally.  This sort of decision certainly fits studio’s history dating back to Adolph Zukor being at the helm.  Zukor is the type of mogul that saw the future when it came to the movies.  I’m about to stop myself from going off on a tangent but there’s no denying that the landscape is changing and digital is the future.  Especially right now, the only way to release a film is at a drive-in or digitally.  Paramount made the best decision for The Lovebirds and launch the film on Netflix.

The Lovebirds really is the genre-bending comedy adventure that we need right now.  Come on.  We all know you’re running out of television series to binge, anyway!

DIRECTOR:  Michael Showalter
SCREENWRITERS:  Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall
CAST:  Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp, Kyle Bornheimer, Catherine Cohen, and Barry Rothbart

Netflix launches The Lovebirds on May 22, 2020. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.