As we all know COVID-19 impacted movie theaters by forcing their temporary closing. One of the victims of theaters closing was the movie “The Love Birds”, which had been scheduled to hit theaters back in April. The movie was moved to the streaming service Netflix, where it is currently showing. The romantic comedy stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani as a couple whose four year relationship has become rocky at best. The couple are constantly bickering, and one night while driving to a dinner party decide to end their relationship. As the two continue their argument, Jibran (Nanjiani) is distracted while driving, runs a red light, and hits a cyclist. The cyclist refuses help from the couple, and flees the scene. Still in shock, Jibran and Leilani (Rae) suddenly have their car commandeered by a man claiming to be a police officer who is in pursuit of the guy on the bicycle. The supposed cop chases the cyclist with Jibran and Leilani still in the car, and upon finding him, promptly runs over the poor cyclist. Let’s just say the cyclist doesn’t get up this time. The “cop” then prepares to kill Jibran and Leilani so they cannot be witnesses to the murder, but he flees the scene when he hears sirens. (I did say this was a “romantic comedy” right?) Fearing they will be charged with murder, Jibran and Leilani also flee the scene, but not before a passing couple accuse them of murder. As they flee, Jibran wants to head to the police station and explain what happened, but Leilani is convinced their story will never be believed, and they will be blamed. When they fled the couple did manage to take the phone of the dead cyclist, and as a result plan a meet up with a woman named Edie, who was supposed to have met the cyclist. The two want to meet with Edie in order to get the name of the fake cop so they can clear their names. The meet up turns out to be a mistake, and the duo are taken hostage by Edie and her husband, who are convinced the couple are in cahoots with the dead cyclist. The two do manage to escape their captors, and go to the address of the dead cyclist they managed to take from Edie in order to prove their innocence. From this point on, the plot involves frat boys, a secret society where everyone wears masks at a theatrical performance, and attempted blackmail. Do the duo prove their innocence? Rekindle their romance? Locate the real killer? I will not reveal those answers here, but as mentioned this is a romantic comedy, so you can come to your own conclusions. This movie, despite being a romantic comedy, will never play on the Hallmark Channel, so I would catch the film on Netflix if you so desire. While the film does have some humorous moments, the talented stars deserved a better script. At times the film tries too hard to make viewers laugh. Despite a few nitpicky flaws, the starring duo have great chemistry, and it would be fun to see them in a better sequel as the same characters. Director Michael Showalter (“Wet Hot American Summer”) keeps the film moving at a fast pace, and does allow the co-stars to fully display their individual comedic talents. Overall, “The Love Birds” is a mildly pleasant summer diversion, and may have been a mild box office hit had a theatrical showing happened. Now streaming on Netflix. (Rated R)
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