Paramount has released the first image from the upcoming mystery rom-com The Lovebirds, starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae as an estranged couple who get tangled up in a murder plot while in New Orleans. The film, directed by The State and Wet Hot American Summer star Michael Showalter (who also directed Nanjiani in The Big Sick), hits theaters April 3.
The image, as presented in an Entertainment Weekly exclusive first look, shows Rae and Nanjiani’s characters, Leilani and Jibran, wearing ridiculous outfits while engaged in a clearly urgent conversation with a third person. Possibly they’re interrogating him, or maybe just asking if he’s ever seen anything as outrageous as a gold athletic jacket and a unicorn hoodie.
By way of explanation, and without wanting to give too much away, Rae offered, “If you’re in New Orleans and you want to blend in you, the crazier you can look the better.”
“Due to — spoilers — we end up having to get new clothes at a CVS-type store,” Nanjiani said of the image. “Since we’re in such dire straits, we don’t put much thought into what clothes to buy. So…that’s how you end up looking if you randomly pick clothes up at a CVS.”
Rae and Nanjiani worked together to tweak the film’s script, which was originally written for a white couple. “It’s not a story about race,” Rae said, “but we wanted to acknowledge our race and the fact that we’re an interracial couple.”
The plot seems a bit derivative (recent hits Game Night and Murder Mystery immediately come to mind), and the image itself feels like it’s beating you over the head with how wacky it is. But Rae and Nanjiani are charismatic performers, and the fact that they were involved in the rewriting process means The Lovebirds is definitely worth a look. Check out the image below.