Pop Culture Recaps

“It’s like The Amazing Race, but with dead people.” And with that rather apt description, we review the latest rom-com offering from Netflix, The Lovebirds.


“It’s like The Amazing Race, but with dead people.” And with that rather apt description, we review the latest rom-com offering from Netflix, The Lovebirds.

In the new world we currently find ourselves in, movies and TV shows are either being rushed forward onto streaming services or pushed back for a cinematic release. The Lovebirds falls into the former category – initially owned by Paramount and slated for the big screen now sold to Netflix, and available for you to watch on a smaller screen.



While, this movie wasn’t spectacular, and I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it again, I did laugh out loud in some scenes, quietly chortle in others, and jumped out of my skin at one point. In other words, it was entertaining, and I didn’t regret the investment of my Sunday afternoon.

What it is

A romantic comedy about a couple, whose relationship is on the skids, and everything is about to turn bat-shit crazy when they’re unwittingly caught up in a murder.

What it’s not

Date Night. A movie that is somewhat similar sans the murder, but the couple in The Lovebirds, played by actors Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae are nowhere in the league of Steve Carell and Tina Fey.

What happens



We start out seeing Leilani and Jibran all loved up with romance practically oozing out of their pores then time-jump four years to the same couple now at each other’s throats – in an argumentative way and not a canoodling way. They’re fighting over standard couple stuff, like bad restaurants, Instagram, and The Amazing Race, and as they head out to dinner with friends, the arguments continue until they both suddenly realise they’re done. Given the insults they’ve been hurtling at each other for the past five minutes, I don’t disagree.

Then BAM! The part mentioned earlier, where I jumped out my skin happens when they hit someone with their car! It’s a cyclist, and when they jump out to help him, the guy takes off – not on foot but on his bike – which has just as miraculously survived the crash as he has.



Another BAM follows when a guy claiming he’s a police officer bangs on the window then commandeers their car, along with Leilani and Jibran. Moments later, this cop hits the cyclist, who is clearly not having a good day, then kills him by reversing, driving, and reversing again over his inert body. Yes, three times! Personally, I reckon the first runover would have done the trick, but maybe that’s just me?

Next, two passers-by, whose acting skills leave a lot to be desired, come upon the scene and contact the police! Leilani and Jim then do what two law-abiding citizens would do in such a situation, and stay to talk to the authorities. KIDDING! This is a rom-com, remember, not a whodunnit, and they look like they ‘dunnit’ so Leilani and Jibran do a runner!

What happens next

Well, frankly a lot. And because of that, here’s my list of bullet points.
• The police make contact with Leilani and Jibran.

• Leilani and Jibran stupidly decide to solve the crime themselves.

• Leilani and Jibran share a strange Uber ride with a drunk couple.

• Even further weird stuff happens that’s weirder than what has already happened. Like hot bacon grease, a horse, and that chick from Pitch Perfect (no, not Anna Kendrick or Rebel Wilson – the other one).

• A change of clothes is needed so Leilani, of course, opts for a pair of metallic purple leggings, a unicorn t-shirt and unicorn hooded jumper (which, by the way, I WANT).

• They come across an apartment full of frat boys, who pay the ultimate price when the so-called cop arrives.

• They go to the dinner they were initially on their way to attend and get one of the guests to crack the passcode on the dead cyclist’s mobile phone. Oh, and they borrow clothes from their friends, which amazingly fits! (bye-bye unicorn, I miss you already ☹)

• A second Uber drive ensues and delivers the ultimate WTF moment with a musical sing-a-long. I KID YOU NOT!

• We see people in peculiar bird beak-like masks do something nasty. Literally.

• The police finally catch up with Leilani and Jibran.

• They save themselves by overpowering the so-called cop, who IS a cop and clearly inept if two civilians can take him down.

• And, need I say they reunite, because nothing like being embroiled in a murder and fighting bad guys, will bring all the feels back!



What doesn’t happen

The police say they’ve been trying to find Leilani and Jibran all night, and tried calling them numerous times. Why didn’t they just track their mobiles from the get-go?



Written by Jo-Ann Milne