In "The Lovebirds," Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae star as a middle-aged suburban couple that witnesses a crime... wait, no sorry that's "Date Night." They actually star as party-goers who get drawn into a crime caper... no, no that's "Game Night." Well, you can understand my confusion with the familiar plots. Let's just say "The Lovebirds" is the one that doesn't have "Night" in the title.
The point is, "The Lovebirds" is doing something overly familiar with a couple thrust into a murder plot. The decision to try and work this out themselves instead of going right to the police because they're a minority couple is one of the movie's few novel ideas.
The plot itself barely holds together from scene to scene and by the time the couple winds up at a sex cult, you can be forgiven for wondering just what we're all doing here.
Like "Date Night," again, "The Lovebirds" mostly wastes the talents of two extremely funny people. Nanjiani and Rae have an easy chemistry. I only wish they were given a better movie.
There are chuckles scattered throughout, and the movie runs a quick 87 minutes, but it actually runs out of gas way before that. The transition to Netflix is actually a good thing for this movie. A trip to the theater for this would have felt like a waste for me, but a quick watch at home almost feels worth it. I mean, I didn't have to put pants on. So that's nice.
EPPLER'S RATING: * *
* * * * * Incredible - One of the best of the year* * * * Excellent - Touches greatness with only minor quibbles* * * Good - Plenty to like, definitely worth seeing* * Mediocre - You can do better