The Lovebirds with Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani is an enjoyable movie, and I think you should watch it. Why? It’s cute, quirky, and multicultural.
Meet Leilani and Jibran, a bi-racial couple in New Orleans that fall in love and seem destined to be together, like they are seriously cute together. Her deep, dark brown skin and his bearded, deep-olive complexion are the perfect compliment to each other. You can’t help but say, “Awww,” when you first see them on screen, and in the opening scenes, their origin romance-story catches your attention and makes you root for their love. Fast forward about two minutes into the movie and four years into the relationship, they are arguing like two opponents in the movie The Great Debaters. Their love becomes really sad, really quickly. The main source of the argument — whether they should compete in the Amazing Race? Clearly not, because their communication at this point is trash. On the car ride to their friends’ house for a party, Jibran admits, “I don’t want to be with someone who is shallow,” and Leilani concedes, “I don’t want to be with someone who is okay with being a failure.” Jibran verbalizes the elephant in the room, “Are we done?” Leilani confirms, “I think we have been done for a while.”
Jibran looks at her, but before he could say anything…BLAM! He suddenly rams into a man on a bicycle! OMG! They get out of the car to help Bicycle, as they eventually refer to him, but he hops up, gets on his bike, like Lance Armstrong after his last steroid shot. They are clearly in shock, but things get even more complicated when a guy with the thickest mustache runs up and exclaims, “I need your car! I’m a cop!” They jump in the car to chase Bicycle, and Mustache runs him down and then smashes him with the car. Not only does he smash him, he runs over him, backs up over him, puts the car in drive, and runs over him again. He does it a couple of times as Leilani and Jibran realize, “Oh shit! This is probably not a cop.”
Mustache jumps out of the car to make sure that Bicycle is dead. Mustache looks up realizing he has two witnesses to his murder, pulls out his gun, and is prepared to unleash a couple of hot ones until he hears police sirens, so he takes out running instead. As Leilani and Jibran get out of the car, another couple walks up, sees the dead body, makes the very reasonable assumption that they murdered the guy, and call 911. Realizing how stupid they sound trying to explain what really happened, Leilani and Jibran make a run for it as well and what follows is an hour and a half of comical hijinks as they try to solve the crime and clear their names of a murder.
The Lovebirds is an unusual mix of a rom-com infused with the comedic timing of I Love Lucy and the crassness of The Hangover. Its strength is its awkwardness and nerdiness. Although there aren’t a lot of moments with side-splitting humor, this is definitely a movie that will make you laugh-out-loud. What I liked most about the movie is that this is the love story of an African-American woman with a Muslim-American man set in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. I found this to be intriguing. I thought it would have been great if the writers had explored the challenges of their relationship more deeply, but that’s not this type of movie. They were just two people who were in love but grew apart. They can’t even agree on competing in a reality series, never mind solving a murder together, but if they want to stay out of jail, guess what? They have to get along, but they end up arguing and annoying the hell out of the villains who are trying to take them out (because Mustache is involved with powerful, nasty, and evil people) and failing to attempt to shut them up. This somehow turns into hilarious opportunities for them to escape. It’s FUN!
So, if you have already binge-watched Tiger King and 90-Day Fiancé, give The Lovebirds a try. As a people, it is time to expand our movie watching palates, and this movie is the perfect chance to get you started. Use it as an opportunity to Netflix and chill. Talk it over with “Bae” to see if you like it. Let me know what you guys think.
P.S. The intro and outro song was fire! Find Someone Like You by Snoh Aalegra. Downloading tonight!