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Murder mystery comedy Lovebirds starring Kumail Nanjiani, Najiani and Issa Rae now on Netflix

The crime action/romantic comedy feature film, The Lovebirds, is available for streaming on Netflix beginning this weekend.

Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley, The Big Sick) and Issa Rae (Insecure) portray a couple who experience a defining moment in their relationship when they are unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery. As their journey to clear their names takes them from one extreme and hilarious circumstance to the next, they must figure out how they – and their relationship – can survive the night. 

The Lovebirds was originally expected to have its general release April 3 but the coronavirus took care of that. With social distancing guaranteeing a poor box office, the distributors decided to go strait to Netflix. 
While not top-tier superstars, both Rae and Najiani have enough name recognition and a fan base from their earlier works. It would have been interesting to see if the Black/Asian couple could have had cross-over into the two movie-going audiences.

The movie is one of those films that probably wouldn’t have been greenlit if not for the box office success of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, opening a slew of Hollywood opportunities for films with non-white leads.

It could have been a version of the suburban couple in the big-bad city genre as depicted in The Out-of-Towners, but in The Lovebirds, race comes into play and what distinguishes the movie from others in that fish-out-of-water trope. 

“On my end, it was just acknowledging the fact that we were people of color. In reading the original script, it was clear that it was either for two White people or, just, ‘anybody.’ But given the circumstances, it was important to acknowledge who we were and our points of view in the world without beating anyone over the head with it,” Rae tells the New York Times.

In the same interview, Nanjiani agrees “I think I’m very aware of my race and how I’m coming across at all times. So we wanted this movie to reflect that it’s very different when it’s two White people being accused of murder and running from the cops as opposed to two people who are not White.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this headline misspelled Kumail Nanjiani in the headline. We apologize.

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