The Lovebirds

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
The Lovebirds Movie Poster Image
Crime romcom has laughs, diversity, swearing, and sex.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 86 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Promotes teamwork -- specifically, that your best partner may be the one you already have.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main characters and their friends offer positive representations of underrepresented groups. Positive depiction of police, especially a smart, reasonable, Black female detective.

Violence

Bicyclist hit by car repeatedly; some blood. Animal kicks a human. A couple of fights that include household items as weapons, threats of injury. Gunman shoots and kills several people (off-camera). Peril and fear.

Sex

Lead characters unintentionally witness group sex: movements and nonsensitive body parts are seen. Conversations about sex. Woman shown in her bra while changing.

Language

"F--k" used often. Single uses of "a--hole" and "bitch."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to drinking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Lovebirds stars Issa Rae (Insecure, The Photograph) and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley) as a couple who unwittingly become involved in a hit-and-run murder just moments after they break up. They "meet cute" the morning after they had casual sex, and there are a couple of other discussions about sex. More significant, though, is that they witness an orgy ritual (à la Eyes Wide Shut), which is played for laughs. Glimpses of clearly naked bodies and sexual motions are shown, but no sensitive body parts are actually seen. Violence is also prevalent, including several murders -- one of which involves someone gunning down a room full of people. A lot of the violence is slapstick in tone. There are references to drinking, and language is mostly limited to "f--k," but that word is used quite often. The movie has a strong theme of teamwork, and the main characters and their friends offer positive examples of underrepresented groups.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byThatadult May 28, 2020

It was very childish

I think that it should not be rated R but G, I watched with my 10 year old and he said he didn’t like it
Adult Written bymeera.016 May 26, 2020

Suitable for 16+

As an adult, I thought this movie was enjoyable and I had a good time watching this. I saw another reviewer ask if it includes butts or breasts because they saw... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 21, 2020

Violent, profanity but funny dark comedy not for kids

The lovebirds is a dark comedic tale about a couple that are involved in a crime chase. This film has pretty funny jokes and humor. While it is funny. Is the vi... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byzaidan June 10, 2020

What's the story?

In THE LOVEBIRDS, Leilani (Issa Rae) and Jibran (Kumail Nanjiani) decide to end their relationship after four years together. But when they're implicated in a hit-and-run murder, the newly minted exes must go on the run to try to track down the real murderer -- and his motive.

Is it any good?

Cinema loves its bickering couples, and Rae and Nanjiani have the chemistry to rank among the greats (Hepburn and Tracy, Scarlett and Rhett, Leia and Han). That may seem like a bold statement, but it's true. (Nanjiani's work in The Big Sick was early indication that he could crush it as a romcom-leading everyman -- terrain that was well covered by Tom Hanks in his earlier days.) What's obvious is that, despite their dysfunction, the two main characters have a way of communicating that shows how perfect they are for each other. That's a different dynamic than we've seen in the past. Think of Lucy and Ricky: He laid down the law, and she snuck around his orders. And then there's the cliché of a strong, opinionated man who's held in check by his wife because she clearly "wears the pants." No one holds "the power" in The Lovebirds' relationship: Both Leilani and Jibran feel empowered to speak their mind and communicate, even after they're no longer a couple. 

The idea of a couple being implicated in a crime moments after they break up is funny, and you will definitely laugh. Still, how these two fall into their misfortune is a little ridiculous, even for a comedy. But it plays into the modern mistrust of the police: They believe that, as a Middle Eastern man and a Black woman, they'll be thrown in jail even though they didn't commit the crime. When they get a hard stare from a cop in a police cruiser, they're sure the jig is up -- until he keeps driving ("Whew! He's just a regular racist"). The film uses race as a comical acknowledgment of our current world, while growing beyond race to depict the two main characters and their friends positively. The result of Leilani and Jibran's racial profiling paranoia is something that's never been seen before: a mainstream mystery-solving movie couple who isn't White. In a Hollywood that for the last century has almost always given audiences crime-solving romantic partners who look like William Powell and Myrna Loy (The Thin Man), Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers ('80s TV series Hart to Hart), or even Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston (Murder Mystery), let's hope that "lovebirds" Leilani and Jibran can continue to nest together for years to come.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why people of color don't always trust the police. How does that institutional mistrust worsen Leilani and Jibran's predicament in The Lovebirds?

  • If you strip the film of the "F" word, there's almost no cursing. Does swearing make a film better or feel more authentic? If there was no strong language, do you think you'd even notice?

  • Compare Leilani and Jibran's communication skills at the beginning of the film and at the end. Why is good communication essential in a successful relationship?

  • How do the characters demonstrate teamwork? Why is that an important character strength?

  • How does The Lovebirds compare to other crime comedies? How often do you see people of color in this type of role? Why is representation important?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies

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