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What do you do when a couple has lost their spark after four years of being together?

Is it couples therapy?

Nah! Say the people behind ‘The Lovebirds’. 

You throw them car first into a murder mystery of course! 

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Now for anyone who watched this film it may have across to be very similar to other films like Date Night starring Steve Carrell and Tina Fey, Game Night starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams and of course Netflix’s very own Murder Mystery starring Adam Sandler and Jeniffer Aniston. 

The film begins with a romantic montage of the beginning of Jibran (played by Kumail Nanjiani) and Leilani’s (played by Issa Rae) relationship when they were very much in the honeymoon phase, within their love bubble and had their feelings goggles on. 

It was cute, it was sweet. It set the mood.

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The movie quickly fast-forwards to four years later, where we catch Leilani and Jibran in the eye of their latest fight. And as it usually happens with couples who have been together for a while, they start fighting right before they have to go hang out with some friends. 

Leilani thinks Jibran is too much of a homebody who doesn’t do anything but plan and work and she believes that they wouldn’t have any friends or fun if it weren’t for her. Jibran thinks Leilani is a narcissist who is obsessed with her Instagram life and has a crush on her co-worker. In the heat of the moment, insults, and frustration, they decide to break up.

But they were living together at this point, so things were a little complicated. 

They still decide to go to their friend’s house together. 

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On the way, is when their life took a turn for the worse. They end up getting caught up in a murder case, political sex scandal, and become the target of a remorseless hitman, all while running from the police.

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That being said, I would like to talk about the three Cs in the film that I believe needs to be paid attention to. These three aspects usually make or break a film and let’s find out what it did for The Lovebirds.

Costumes / Clothes

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Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are fine AF! They could literally pull off wearing trash bags and managed to make clothes from a gas station look good on them. But the film barely had any style factor, except for maybe one scene when they dressed up to go to a fancy event. You could argue that maybe it wasn’t that kind of a rom-com and they were trying to be more realistic in terms of costume design but, it would have added a little more pizzazz to the film. 

Casting

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Now, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but what I do have to say it was very refreshing to see a rom-com starring two extremely under-represented People of Colour. Many of you may know Kumail Nanjiani as the Pakistani comedian who stars in Silicon Valley and created the Oscar-Nominated film ‘The Big Sick. and Issa Rae as the star and brains behind the hit show ‘Insecure.’ And it was a joy to see them on screen together in roles that would often not be given to people of colour.

Chemistry

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Honestly, I didn’t really believe them as a couple. They just seemed like people who would be much better off as friends. Even the scenes were Jibran dreamily looks at Leilani in a gorgeous glamorous outfit, seemed… forced. And don’t even get me started on the scene where Kumail had to take his shirt off to nurse a wound. They just didn’t seem to have a spark or even the teensiest bit of fire and it felt like they were acting, which is really not what you want. 

The Lovebirds is not your normal run of the mill rom-com, and definitely not the first of its kind. But it definitely is the first to showcase people of colour in prominent roles as far as I can remember. If there are any other films that you know in a similar genre, please drop your suggestions in the comments below. 

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My favourite dialogue in the film was:

“I’m on one page and you’re reading a magazine!”

Kumail and Issa are absolutely believable as a vibrant couple who have settled into a pattern of complacency and disenchantment. And regardless of the bad choices, the couple keeps making you root for them to have a win.

The Lovebirds doesn’t take a normal trajectory of rom-com films and is super fast-paced. It’s 87 minutes long but feels much shorter. If you are looking for a good distraction during these troubled days, it’s definitely worth the watch.

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