Leilani (Issa Rae) and Jibran (Kumail Nanjiana) spend a hard night in <em>The lovebirds</em>.
May 22, 2020 4: 00
The lovebirds : Especially for the duel of actors ** 1/2
CRITICAL / Everything is recycled in Hollywood, including a genre almost forgotten. The lovebirds (The Lovebirds) delivers the taste of the day the screwball comedy focusing on two actors Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae — who engages in a duel in fireworks. Nothing subtle, a good pace, and a couple quarrelsome will crack; this is ingredients that are pleasing to the extent that it has the head of a mild entertainment.
The screwball comedy, popular in the 30’s and 40’s, wants to be a satire of the history of traditional love that is characterized by a female-dominant that challenged the masculinity of his partner. Like here with Leilani (Rae) and Jibran (Nanjiani). It is less revolutionary at the time, but the battle of the sexes proves, it seems, a topic that never goes out of style.
For The lovebirds, the canvas is similar to that of Mean Streets (1973) Scorsese : a normal evening, full of twists and turns (sometimes impossible), that turns into a nightmare.
Our duo living in New Orleans went to a dinner where they flip a bike courier. Just noted, this last takes flight. Back to the car, the couple is jostled by a cop in civilian clothes, who pursues the cyclist. Once caught up, it happens to him on it repeatedly and then runs away.
Traumatized, Leilani and Jibran are convinced that they will accuse her of the murder. They decide to find the mysterious Mustache (Paul Sparks) to prove their innocence. Of course, they are awkward, to the limit of the ridiculous, and building up the blunders. The two incorrigible chatterers nevertheless managed to make progress in their investigation.
It takes a good dose of credulity, or of willingness on the part of the viewer… But we laugh.
We expected better of Michael Showalter, who has been a huge success with The Big Sick (2017), which was also featured Kumail Nanjiani. There was one major difference : the quality of the script. One of the Lovebirds, written by Aaron Abrams and Brendan Gall, is lopsided and predictable.
The blink of an eye pressed to the sequence of the orgy in Eyes wide shut (1999) Kubrick makes you smile, but the lack of mastery of the cinematographic language, Showalter, and the laziness of its realization, are even more evident. Three-quarters of the scenes are filmed in the field / in contrast…
Of course, with two actors who interact on the 220, despite the poverty of their reply, we can understand that the director has opted for a solution which leaves them all over the place.
This is the main attraction of this film — to focus on a couple of minority. The chemistry between the two actors in opposite roles, works well. Of course, Showalter plays on contrasts, the fact remains that the segments of sentimental lack credibility.