Parents' Guide to

The Lovebirds

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Crime romcom has laughs, diversity, swearing, and sex.

Movie R 2020 86 minutes
The Lovebirds Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 16+

Laugh out loud funny! Great movie for family with teens

My 2 cents: I definitely lean toward the conservative side as far as exposing my 16 yr old to sex, drugs, and violence. Having said that, except for the person being run over repeatedly, during which I had to close my own eyes, I thought it was hysterical and a great family movie for ages 16+. The “orgy” part was barely visible and very brief. The other violence and sex was no worse than prime time network TV, which I limit but don’t ban...makes good material for meaningful dialogue...
age 18+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (5 ):

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.

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