Of late, Netflix has been popping rom-coms that haven’t been the level of good we expect from the streaming platform, The Wrong Missy being the latest example. It was another formulaic movie that was dressed haphazardly in a new dress to entice the viewer. Does that convey the message that films sticking following the same old trope fail? Well, not when the film is the recently released romcom-cum-action-thriller, The Lovebirds and the lead cast stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani. “Cause this one is an unforgettable delight!
The plot of The Lovebirds is done to death and is, at times, dumb as well as trite, but that’s not what holds the film’s lifeline- it is merely a backdrop for the charismatic and wondrous performance by its lead pair, Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae as Jibran and Leilani. They play the part of being a couple with such authenticity and perfection that from now on, every rom-com that comes our way will be judged by the Jibran-Leilani meter.
The story begins with a cliche romantic scene where our much-in-love couple is professing their deep feelings to each other- the relationship is new, everything is perfect…well, at least for the first five minutes. ‘Cause after that we hurtle into the future- Jibran and Leilani have been together for four years now and the mushy couple we earlier witnessed is about ready to gouge each other’s eyes out. They are constantly criticizing and bickering with each other and the romantic sparks in their relationship are, more or less, buried. Nothing that a sudden crisis can’t unearth, eh?
On their way to a party, they encounter Paul Sparks (House Of Cards), who says he is a cop but is just a weird mysterious bloke with a silenced pistol. He takes the car’s wheel from Jibran, when the couple accidentally hit a cyclist. So, with the scared couple still in the car, he chases the mentioned cyclist and runs him over…five times before he disappears.
Jibran and Leilani now have a dead body and have no option but to run when they are spotted. They are aware that their true story of how the murder enfolded will never be believed by the police and also, there are high chances of them being subjected to prejudice as they are two people of color. That leaves them with one option- to find out who the dead man is, why would someone kill him, and track the killer themselves.
In 24 hours, their life has changed from a couple on the brink of an imminent break-up to the one joined at the hip to solve a crime they will, undoubtedly, be blamed for.
Sounds like an average rom-com mystery thriller with a typical couple thrown into a crime plot for some spice? Oh, well it’s so not.The Lovebirds does have a modest plot but it’s Rae and Nanjiani that make it one witty treat with endless entertaining banter. They are realistic, radiant, owning every second while sharing an electrifying off-the-charts chemistry that amps up their sharp deliveries and creates this spark that keeps one captivated.
And that’s why, The Lovebirds, even while it follows a cliched formula, works like a charm- it gave us characters we can never tire off.