The Lovebirds

Critics Consensus

If the breezily enjoyable The Lovebirds feels like a little less than the sum of its parts, it's still an enjoyable showcase for the talents of its well-matched stars.

65%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 165

50%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 884

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Movie Info

A couple (Issa Rae & Kumail Nanjiani) experiences a defining moment in their relationship when they are unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery. As their journey to clear their names takes them from one extreme-- and hilarious -- circumstance to the next, they must figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night.

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Critic Reviews for The Lovebirds

All Critics (165) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (108) | Rotten (57)

  • Nothing real here...none of it seems to make any sense, just bumbling and stumbling around...

    June 23, 2020 | Rating: D | Full Review…
  • Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani display expert timing as the unhappy couple caught up a deadly criminal case.

    May 29, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Fortunately, there's enough skill on display that The Lovebirds is still plenty enjoyable, as long as you don't think too hard about it.

    May 26, 2020 | Full Review…
  • It belongs in that category of movies each should ask to be left out of any career achievement retrospective montages awaiting them down the road.

    May 26, 2020 | Full Review…
  • It is unlikely to be remembered as anything more than a diversionary lark. But it does stand as a testament to the ways in which the right actors can elevate even the most lackluster of material.

    May 26, 2020 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

    Robert Levin

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • The Lovebirds might have underwhelmed in a movie theater but works just fine in the very different circumstances in which it has been unveiled.

    May 26, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Lovebirds

  • May 26, 2020
    The tepid advertising for The Lovebirds gave me little motivation to see the movie. Even with the same director and star of The Big Sick, it just did not look funny with its trailer, so it was already gearing up to be mentally banished to a "see it eventually" field that might never be fulfilled. Then after COVID-19, it was bought by Netflix and now I had easy access to a brand-new 2020 movie previously targeted for a wide theatrical release. I watched The Lovebirds the day it debuted and was pleasantly surprised to notice just how much I was laughing early on, and that laughter continued throughout the movie's entire running time. Kumail Nanjiani (Stuber) and Issa Rae (HBO's Insecure) have a winning chemistry but they're even better when they're at odds, and the movie smartly frames the on-the-lamb misadventure during their dissolution as a couple. Through the harrowing events, we get a fuller picture of why their relationship didn't work out, the issues each has, and why it might just work out over the course of some rather outlandish events trying to clear their names for murder. I found more to like in the riffs and weird diversions the movie would find itself circling, where an observational joke or offbeat moment could extend and find new life. The comedy set pieces are fine, though an Eyes Wide Shut-style orgy is a bit lazy without going into more humor on the group and their stuffy rules. I wish there were more meaningful and colorful supporting characters but the emphasis is on our main couple. I found myself smiling and nodding along and being taken by the low-key charms of a brisk comedy that didn't ask much more of me than to have a good time with some appealing actors. It's not The Big Sick but it's not a big bomb either. On Netflix streaming, The Lovebirds is a perfectly enjoyable 100 minutes to stretch out to and chuckle to yourself and think back on how the abysmal advertising really undersold the funny. Nate's Grade: B
    Nate Z Super Reviewer
  • May 25, 2020
    Coasts entirely on the charm and chemistry of its leads, which luckily for the movie was juuust enough to keep it out of the doghouse. It bums me to say because they are both such likable performers, but without Rae and Nanjiani, this doesn't deserve a look. 85 minutes of underwhelming humor, telegraphed plotting, and limp action with few memorable, landing jokes. The hardest laugh occurred just over 4 minutes in...oof. Especially as the third act was wrapping up, I realized that a thoughtful, more indie route exploring this couple rekindling their relationship would've been a much better movie, rather than dragging us through these half-heartedly executed high-concept shenanigans. The incidental move to Netflix was a blessing in disguise - this is fluff-to-put-on-with-friends-for-a-chuckle-while-half-paying-attention fare to a T.
    Marisol M Super Reviewer
  • May 23, 2020
    I always appreciate when an artist gives themselves a slow progression into stardom. In this case, Michael Showalter, beginning his career as an actor back in the early 2000s in films like Wet Hot American Summer and Signs, he slowly developed a directing career. Working and starring in a small film called The Baxter, he wasn't really in the spotlight behind the camera until more recently. Doing a great job on the film Hello, My Name is Doris and one of my favourite films of 2017 in The Big Sick, I've become a huge fan of his. His recent release, The Lovebirds, was supposed to hit theatres through Paramount Pictures but was picked up by Netflix for distribution instead. While it might be Showalter's weakest directorial effort, it's still a fun watch. Here's why I believe The Lovebirds is worth a watch.  After four years together, Leilani (Issa Rae) and Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) are facing a low point in their relationship. Thinking about splitting up, they are quickly faced with the fact that they believe all the cops in the city want them for the murder of a civilian. Finding themselves deeper and deeper as the story progresses, each event lends itself to some great comedic moments. This movie has more than a few laughs and the set pieces are ridiculous enough to lend a bit levity to the serious situations. With that said, this movie would not have worked many other pairings.  At best, this an average comedy that probably had some passable humour throughout its screenplay, which would provide a fine movie for audiences to watch, but it really came down to the fact that Nanjiani and Rae are so great together. Their chemistry and ability to clearly improv a lot of their lines here is what made the movie so enjoyable. It's possible a lot of the humour was in the screenplay, but it came across as a lot of improv to me. From where the film starts, to how it progresses its characters, to where they all end up by the time the credits rolled, I predicted nearly everything, so it really came down to whether or not the movie was fun to watch, and it really was.  There's little to no motivation or reasoning for any of the secondary characters to even be present here. It's a film that cares about the two leads and the two leads only. In that, it absolutely succeeds, but I wish I cared about more of the side stories in the end. It's hard to even want to nitpick movies like this because it knows what it is. It's not ever going to be an awards contender, but simply a contender for best mainstream comedy of the year. Lately, that particular genre has been pretty sparse, which is probably why I'm giving this one a lot of slack.  Overall, The Lovebirds is a fun ride due to its very likeable cast. Writers Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall put together a nice, competent little action-comedy, but it would've been nothing with the wrong cast. This movie not only proved how funny both Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are, but also made me hope for a future team-up. There's not a lot of new content in terms of wide-releases this year, so for that reason alone, I say absolutely give this one a shot. It's not a great movie by any means, but clocking in at 87 minutes, I really don't think you'll regret giving this one a shot. In the end, it's a decent little comedy.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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