Released to Netflix on May 22, ‘The Lovebirds’ has been a regular fixture on the Netflix Top 10 list. Keep reading to find out what makes this movie so popular.

'The Lovebirds' follows Leilani and Jibran through a traumatic date night.
The Lovebirds was released on Netflix on May 22. Photo Credit

The Lovebirds is a movie for just about anybody. There’s suspense, violence, but mostly humor and heart. This fast-paced film delivers frequent laughter and a predictable but much desired love connection between our two star players Leilani (Issa Rae) and Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani).

When we first meet Leilani and Jibran they can’t seem to pull away from each other, true “lovebirds.” Four years later, their relationship has seemingly reached its limit. Just when they’re ready to call it quits, Leilani and Jibran find themselves in a situation in which they have to rely on each other. They have to stick together even though they were about to walk away.

Leilani and Jibran witness a crime, except to bystanders it looks like they did the crime. The film actually has some compelling commentary. It’s riddled with jokes, but I find comedy is often the best way to talk about difficult subjects. The two flee the scene of the crime even though they were innocent. They’re fleeing because they assume that as a Black woman and a Pakistani man, the police would presume them guilty.

Instead, Leilani and Jibran figure their only chance is to clear their name by playing detective. This is what allowed for The Lovebirds to be so fast paced. As the lovebirds (which they are sometimes ironically referred to as) follow clues, Leilani and Jibran stumble into near-death experience, to near-death experience, to orgy, to near-death experience. 

Nanjiani and Rae discuss shooting one of Leilani and Jibran’s near death experiences in The Lovebirds.

Yeah, remember when I said The Lovebirds is for almost anybody? That’s partly because of the language, and also because of the orgy scene. But truly, there has never been a less sexual orgy scene. Leilani and Jibran only provide commentary on what they’re seeing. I promise the laughter will undercut any bashfulness you might feel, regardless of who you are watching with.

The Lovebirds straddles the line between comedy and rom-com without ever fully realizing its genre. But another way of saying that is it focuses too much on jokes to be a rom-com. Yet it still focuses on the love connection more than your average comedy.

Though there’s an issue with the romantic angle in The Lovebirds. Leilani and Jibran just seem to figure out they were wrong about where they stood in the other’s eyes. They just needed more direct communication, which you would think happened because they were on the lam together. But it primarily happens in the one scene when they’re talking to other people, separate from each other. 

Their friends tell Leilani and Jibran how lucky they are to have each other and they just sort of believe them. Neither Leilani or Jibran seem to show any character growth as individuals. To me that means any problems these lovebirds had before their traumatic night will resurface.

The Lovebirds gets a 3.8/5 for being sheer entertainment

I loved this movie, yet I’m in no real rush to watch it again or recommend it too insistently. Its high-octane hilarity and cookie-cutter love story make The Lovebirds the perfect late-night comedy. It’s easy to watch, satisfying, and I’ll say it one last time, very funny. 

The Lovebirds has two protagonists, it’s about them as “lovebirds.” What ends up happening is the only thing that changes in the story is their relationship. The audience doesn’t see either Leilani or Jibran go through personal growth. Character transformation is what sets a great film apart from the rest.