Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for The Lovebirds. The film, directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick) stars Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani as a couple who get drawn into a criminal conspiracy, and the only way to clear their names is to solve the mystery themselves.
If you judge The Lovebirds solely on the trailer, it looks terrific! It’s delightful to see Nanjiani and Rae bouncing off each other, the jokes are solid, and this seems like a great date night movie. With a release in early April, this could easily be a hit! However, films aren’t distributed in a vacuum, and The Lovebirds is going to arrive during a time when comedies are really struggling. For example, there was nothing particularly wrong with Nanjiani’s last comic outing, Stuber, but that film was a flop. And the reason it was a flop is because comedies are struggling right now.
Comedies are the most difficult genre because they imply the highest risk. I’d rather sit through a drama that doesn’t move me than a comedy that doesn’t make me laugh. A bad comedy is a really rough watch, and over the past few years, we’ve seen the genre’s fortunes decline. Part of that is because if you just need a laugh, you can open TikTok or YouTube; you don’t need a feature-length film to provide that specific entertainment. Furthermore, comedies, which make for good date night fodder, are better served in the comfort of your own home. You technically don’t need a big screen to get bigger laughs.
That leaves a movie like The Lovebirds is an awkward position. Ten years ago, you could release a movie like Date Night, and it would gross almost $100 million domestic. I’m not sure that can still happen, and that’s a shame, because as I said, The Lovebirds certainly looks like it will be a lot of fun, but that may not be enough for people to actually buy a ticket.
Check out The Lovebirds trailer below. The film opens April 3rd.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Lovebirds:
A couple (Issa Rae & Kumail Nanjiani) experiences 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.