The Lovebirds

Listen to this episode

S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership. The following podcast contains explicit language like.

S2: Shilat, great. I am. What’s in the box? Yo, yo, yo.

S3: Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of Spoiler Specials. I’m Sam Adams, the senior editor at Slate. And this week, we’re spoiling the Lovebird, the Netflix comedy about a couple played by Camille Nanjiani and Isa Rae, who are on the verge of breaking up when they suddenly find themselves on the run from the law and reconnect over a wild night in New Orleans. Joining me to talk about it are Willa Paskin, Slate’s TV critic. Hello.

S4: Hi.

S3: And also Slate staff writer Rachel Hampton. Hello. Hey.

S1: All right. So this movie is probably most famous at this point, as I think the first theatrical movie. This was going to be a Universal Pictures release. But because of some weird reason, they decided that because there were no new movie theaters to release it into. They were going to just send it straight to Netflix. So it’s sort of a famous historical footnote in that respect. And we’ll talk a little bit about it. That makes a difference later on. But just to start giving in the usual place, would you recommend this for people who are a couple, I guess? Eighty seven minutes or so to film on a quarantine night. Well, I’ll start with you.

S4: Well, you know, it’s interesting. This movie is like not very good. But the thing that is surprising about it is the thing that I thought it was actually sort of good at. It is the thing that other movies are terrible at. Which is like. The jokes they say to each other and like their actual dialogue when they’re just joking around is like pretty good. And maybe it’s just because Camille Anjani and Israel are funny and they did it. But like, sentence to sentence, like when they’re just, like, riffing with each other. It’s better and funnier. Like, I giggled a few times. The movie is like otherwise totally pedestrian and like car baked. And like the fact that was I supposed to come out in theaters is like totally mind boggling because it’s just fully a Netflix movie. As far as I can tell by which I do not a compliment and. They don’t have chemistry like at all, like you sort of wish they didn’t get back together at the end, even though, like, you’re happy, they don’t hate each other anymore. That’s how I felt. But like, second to second, they just do cute. Funny, like diving cute. Like they’re just kind of funny. And there’s a lot of scene that had that feel of like I’m not sure they were improper. They probably weren’t. But just like two people, just like kind of riffing off each other in a goofy way that are charming. So, like, it pass the time, like my husband who doesn’t ever watch anything when he was like sitting in the room with me. And then he would sort of pay attention and watch like the last 20 minutes. And he was like that was so much less terrible than I was expecting it to be because, like, they’re funny. So, like, if you go back, you might be good ish, but not actually good.

S3: Rachel, can you do better or worse than that? Extremely lukewarm recommendation.

S5: Okay. So I think I watched this movie in the perfect way, which was after exactly. Two male heroes. I think maybe it’s best watched, one slightly tipsy and based on that experience. I honestly really enjoyed it. I will say I think I’m the target audience for this movie because I really love Netflix’s murder mystery with Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler, which is kind of terrible. But I’ve watched them multiple times. So take my recommendation with a grain of salt. But I like one thing. Play the comedic chemistry between Kamahl and if it was really good. I honestly am not a huge fan of comedies and I laughed a lot during this part. Wasn’t great, but like the dialogue really carry the entirety of the movie and I thought it was really fun. I was less surprised was a theatrical release. It felt very much like a movie you would see on Friday night with your friends and you come out and you’re like, that was decent, and then you go to a bar.

S3: And that was my experience of watching this movie as well as that been kind of mind boggling to me watching this, like I really had it kind of forcibly. I thought that this was intended to be watched in movie theaters at some point because it’s just looks so threadbare. It’s set in New Orleans and it does look like they shot there for about three seconds. But the whole thing, just as this whole kind of generic studio warehouse feel to it. But I do think as well as I do well, I mean, I think a lot of the interaction between them is like pretty inspired. I do think they have chemistry in a certain way. I mean, it may just be like comedic chemistry, but I just feel like a lot of the back and forth between them is really funny. It can be really difficult to figure out whether something is improvised. But the director, Michael, show Walter, who also work with Camille Nanjiani on the big stick. His whole background is in sketch comedy. Is a member of the state. Way back when. You know, I think that’s the kind of thing he leaves room for. He’s certainly not any kind of visual stylist. I mean, I think of anything kind of Dreiser’s maybe it makes us worth watching. It’s the way it just lets the two of them kind of do their their comedic thing. This movie does. There’s kind of a slightly interesting thing in that it’s kind of starts off in the place where another romantic comedy might end and basically gives us the entirety of their this couple names that are Jibran and Lalani, the entirety of their falling in love. They’re meet cute is compressed into the first 90 seconds of the movie, kind of over the credits, or we have, you know, the two and kind of running into each other. We pick up with them right after their first hookup. And they’re kind of deciding whether they’re going to go their separate ways. I was like, no, let’s have breakfast. Let’s go for a walk in the park. And you just get the sense of, you know, Lisa Ray has this great sort of flooding, like I just fell in love with you. Smile. That’s all kind of crammed into the beginning of the movie. And then there’s just a smash cut to four years later with they’re in the middle of the fight. I mean, I will ask you, but like I mean, did you buy, first of all, that first section? Did these feel like, you know, people who are falling in love have fallen in love because otherwise we don’t care whether or not they’re going to get back together.

S4: For me, that sort of formula honestly works, even if I don’t buy it. Like, I don’t actually think they sort of ever sort of make sense as a couple. Like what? You know, there’s like it’s like three minutes of them, like talking about crude attack A.O. Scott. He’s sort of eviscerating review of this movie. Like, really, I was just like, you’re in New Orleans and the only things you connect about are like Crude Attan, a Katy Perry song like Please. And I was very snide back to his point. It is like the montage in the middle of like another romantic comedy where like, I’m always like that works for me. Like it doesn’t matter. Like it could almost be like a chipmunk and like an otter doing that. I would always be compelled by, like, that soundtrack. I’m like, I understand the beat to this movie is doing. And this is sort of cute, although sort of cringe like. But does it even matter like it is setting it out. But like, I get it. You’re a couple. But then like this match got to them hating each other, like I found them hating each other so much more plausible than them, like each other. I think also coming on and on is very funny, but I’m not like sure Schmoozy is like really in his tool box. It can be in the right circumstances, like the Big Six, a good movie, but like there’s things like a little too normal about the opening. It’s not his strength. Like, I think EESA, like, is like, is it a glorious romantic comedy heroine? You could fill that role, like, really nicely with her beam, you know. But he’s got something else, like more acid going on. And I’d like them fighting. I’m like, this seems more like your thing also. Their fight was kind of incongruous, like there wasn’t enough. I mean, this thing is like this is why the whole movie comes out, just like they’re sort of like patter because there’s no, like, emotional half. Like the thing they’re fighting about doesn’t really make sense. Like, you know, they sort of say like he doesn’t ever want to go anywhere where he doesn’t ever want to try. But it’s all sort of shorthanded and you’re not sure like they really get it either. But I did, like, buy them as fighters. That’s almost the only interesting thing about the movie is its structure. So like to just have that, like, six minutes in all fall apart. Like, that’s kind of like the only like Pikul, you know, like I mean, in, like, Pickle, it was taking home with, like, surprising taste element in the whole thing is like that structure. And I liked that. I guess what I’m saying by insulting.

S5: I also totally bought them fighting. I kind of bought them as the couple whose main love language is just endless bickering. And so I guess the beginning of it, I was kind of like, oh, this is cute. I kind of want to know is going on before. This kind of is the most recent thing I saw you the in was the photograph. And so seeing her again and this kind of romantic context, I again immediately bought into it. I agree with well, she could do pretty much anything yet. Cameo Falling in love wasn’t this fairly. I was like, I feel like I’m waiting for you to make like a funnier joke for this to go wrong somewhere. Like something’s going to happen. And then watching immediately into fighting about like The Amazing Grace was like maybe the funniest part of the entire movie. So, yeah, I bought them more as like a couple continually on the verge of breaking up, but just kind of never committing to breaking up. I also never really figured out why they were fighting, like Camille’s theoretically taking too long to make a documentary and ease’s obsessed with social media. But that isn’t really track is something to break up a four year relationship over. So I wasn’t fully convinced they were gonna break up.

S4: How do you even get into a four year relationship if you are fighting about like, you know, I mean, like they just made it seem like there was like a fundamentally incompatible in some way that it’s like, how’d you get here? Or This isn’t serious enough. Ryan entrapped.

S3: Last night was watching Love Life, which is the new kind of Anna Kendrick series. It’s on HBO, Max. As of today. And that has a similar like where you know, the relationships in trouble when one person accuses the other person of looking at their phone too much. And that’s obviously not like a new phenomenon, but it just feels very trippy at this point. But that’s that’s the big warning signs.

S4: When phones become an issue, you know, every relationship in America is doomed if that’s the issue.

S3: None of us are going to sit by, like, selfishly enjoyed their fight just because I know I’m a big sort of like documentary buff. And there’s a bit where they are fighting over the documentary that he’s making versus the reality shows that she watches. And he thinks that his documentary Superior. But then she catches him out, that he’s never actually even seen his reality show. And she’s has a lot of input. That’s like you make documentaries that are just reality shows that no one watches. And I was like, OK, I can’t wait until this movie is actually on Netflix and out of the screeners so I can make a gif of that and like, start tweeting to people, which I did. So moving on, the two of them, they’re on the way to this party, in the car, on the way there. They kind of reached the point where they realized, like, oh, shit, we’re done. Like, we not only are about to break up, but we should have broken up, like, some amount of time ago. And that is when their car gets hijacked by Paul Sparks playing. This white man who says he’s a cop, doesn’t like flash an idea, but goes up and says, I’m a cop. I’m chasing a bicycle courier.

S4: They already hit the car air. Then they hit a guy. They hit the bicycle courier. Yes. Who comes. So they, like, almost killed someone. And then this guy takes over their car and it’s like he’s a bad guy. Let’s go catch him. And they assist him and catch him. Yeah, I didn’t buy that. Yeah. Yeah, totally. So I’m like, if I don’t give a Bockelmann, if Compton’s in my car, be like, get the fuck out. Like, what are you doing? It was like a very shady situation. You wouldn’t just I don’t think you would just be like, yes. Like we’ll do whatever you say, sir. Like, yeah.

S3: And then like for me was to be like one thing. If they were kind of, you know, intimidated into it, if he, you know, flashed a gun or a badge or something. But not only that, they, like, let him in their car and take over, but then they’re, like, enthusiastically helping him like, oh, turn this way. He went eastbound and it’s just like, oh, they’re way too into like I know they’re both like Pretty Buji characters. They’ve just seemed way too into, like, you know, playing cop with this guy who’s given them. No, he’s actually a cop. This is not a movie that’s particularly engaged with with plausibility. But that was actually something that threw me out of it, like right at that moment.

S4: And then they do catch up with this bicycle. Do that character that they start to call bicycle and mustache. The guy who said to the cop who’s gotten in the car then proceeds to roll over bicycle four times with their car, and then he takes out a gun and he’s going to shoot them. But then the cop starts hopers and they run away. And so then the two of them are like in the car with this corpse in front of them. And then, like two people, stranger is like, come upon it and are like, you just kill this guy. And this is what I like. I, like, really stressed out and annoyed, just like nothing happened. That always happens in movies where they’re suddenly, like, incapable of just trying to explain what happened instead of just being like we didn’t talk like that, just being like someone took over our car and he ran over them three times and it wasn’t us. They’re like, we hit him. But it wasn’t like they just they just fail to explain. And they basically confessed to having killed this person, to these bystanders, even though they didn’t sort of by accident and then decide because they are people of color and because they like it is a crazy situation. They decide to flee. So it’s like I mean, that’s the thing is also it’s like they like. Their centers about how fucked up the police are at that point.

S3: You know, one of the moments I like more in the movie is this. This couple come upon them who are identified in the credits as Mr. Hipster and Mrs. Hipster upon them sort of in this alleyway with this like dead bicycle carrying four of them and start, like, freaking out. And they, you know, the woman calls the cops and they need to report these people for, like, killings. And she is just happened to be African-American. And he is also a person of color. And I’m not saying that because I’m racist, but because they literally just killed a guy.

S4: Yeah. And then they flee and then, like, concoct a plan not to turn themselves in. But to try to solve the murder themselves, yet they choose to help those cop and then they don’t go to the police and they’re like, oh, they won’t believe us. Obvious cause are people of color. And I was like, why do you think about we let the cop in the car in the first place? A. B.

S6: We live in a surveillance state. I guess there’s a way for them to find out that you weren’t driving the car, which like spoiler, it becomes like a pop point at the end. I was just like, why don’t you guys just think about this for like five seconds?

S5: Like, there’s literally cameras everywhere, like what’s going on here. How did they even begin to solve this mystery? They like sitting at a diner and the cops call them and they’re like, where’s your car at? And they’re like, oh, we don’t know. We left it at home.

S4: Right. And then I think they have the bicycle’s phone bicycle and they have. They have a calendar invite in the phone.

S3: Yeah. So then they start getting hit like text messages. I don’t want to flag in that diner scene like one of my favorite lines and the whole thing. I don’t know who wrote this or. This is an improv, but I just love the way she says it. Like you’re sitting in this diner. Camille has blood all over his overcoat and the diner waitress is kind of looking at them like what is going on here? And he said, this is like, oh, we were just painting our house. Blood colors. It’s like the little moments like that for me. Make it like the plot and the romance. I don’t really care about. But like, little line delivery is like that is totally worth the, you know. And you admitted investment.

S4: Like also at that same thing. He’s like, you have alcohol. And then she’s like two alcohols and they don’t have like just they’re like it’s just like they’re funny. Like they’re good at did their. Like they make regular lines, like they put a little spin on them. They’re good. But the box is ridiculous. So they decide to go to this counter and vie.

S5: And so it’s I guess, a club somewhere in New Orleans. It is extremely strange that it’s in New Orleans and you see so little of it. I was not fully convinced that it was filming New Orleans, but they go to this club and somebody text bicycle phone and like, come to the balcony. Like, I can’t find you. And so the person I’m meeting up with turns out to be Annie Camp, who I absolutely adore. She’s really, I think, funny in this movie. And so they meet and camp on this balcony. She’s like, what are you doing here? Why did he send you? Like, I don’t believe that you don’t know what’s going on. They end up walking to an alley like a bunch of dumb asses and get hit over the back of a head and they wake up and like somebodies barn. Basically, Kemal and Isa find out that bicycle is blackmailing Anna Camp’s husband, who’s a congressman. And so they’re trying to talk their way out of the situation. Well, not exactly knowing what’s going on. And there’s this really weird SPU and it can’t go on about baking Greece, where she’s gonna torture them with hot, big andree’s. Was it just me or did that bacon look entirely CGI? That was one of the few moments where I was like, what the fuck is happening in this movie?

S4: This whole scene is really weird because they have to tell what’s happening. She’s threatening them to pour baking Rita over the hand. She’s like. Or you can pick some other undisclosed option, like it’s very like movie villain where you’re like, why do you keep your choice? So, like, Camille picks the other choice and other choices, like basically getting a hit in the chest by like a horse. But then as he’s being hit in the head with the by the horse, he’s like too easy, like take the bacon grease. But I’m sorry. Like, getting hit in the chest by horse is significantly better than getting bacon grease. Were all over your face, like no matter what you think. It was just like we’re the then she’s like, yes. Like skulled might be frying pan of bacon grease, but obviously that’s about to happen. Like she breaks free and they like beat them over the head with the frying pan. And escape.

S3: I like. And I’ve, you know, turn out. He’s like, who’s behind this whole, like, conspiracy? And I have written their name and phone number and address them on this piece of paper that I’m holding in my hand and will drop later in the scene. And what, like you couldn’t do another draft of that like that? He’s got a Post-it note with the next, like, plot step.

S4: So for the next month that they go to like basically what seems like a frat house where they’re like packaging these blackmail packets. They’re just there’s a bunch of dude. And they break into the house and they’re like hiding in a bedroom.

S3: And I think it’s my favorite scene in the whole movie is the one where they interrogate one of these frat boys, like sneaking through the window and he finds them in his room and he starts freaking out and they start kind of interrogating him and trying to put on this, like, tough guy act. And this is the point where I think, you know, the movie is making the point that this is a couple that’s been together for years and they may have been on the verge of breaking up, but they also have all this kind of history and rapport with them. So like, well, you mentioned the fact that they just you know, they’re calling the career bicycle and the murderer mustache. And that’s not ever like a discussion they have. Like, they just whatever. This is what happened to bicycle. The other guy says, oh, but about mustache. And it’s just like they don’t need to explain that to each other. And at one point they’re like yelling at the stripper, look who is bicycle worked for. And just like, what are you talking about? So they just start going on these weird riffs where they’re both trying to act like it’s sort of tough and mean. But then they’re going on these weird diversions about like how important it is to recycle and stuff and just the way they’re kind of picking up what the other one is putting down is really comedic timing. And two really funny people like working off each other. But it does cause your mind. You’re like, oh, this is like a couple of people who, like, really know each other and can work well together when they’re forced to.

S6: I think the interrogation scene was also hilarious because of the many names that Ethan Rey calls his frat boy. She calls him little Brett Kavanaugh or like baby date rape suspect.

S4: This is fucked up, but also absolutely hilarious. Do they get some information from it? Right. Like we do actually seek information that like basically they figure out that bicycle was like trying to blackmail.

S5: So bicycle’s like the ringleader and. Yeah. And the Milice interrogation mustache comes in and starts murdering everybody and they hide in the closet and avoid getting murdered.

S4: At that point they do have figured out like where they’re supposed to go. Why do they know where they’re supposed to go. I mean they they they like steal a packet.

S3: Yeah. There’s like a QR code on Bicycle’s phone that will get them into some. But it’s about to be this kind of like eyes wide shut like sex party.

S6: They have to unlock Bicycle’s phone. So there’s a guy that Isa is kind of flirting with that Kamal’s like I don’t like the way you look at him, but apparently he’s a tech genius and can unlock phones.

S5: And so they need to get into Bicycle’s phone to find out where they need to go next. I guess because they have this packet of photos that looks like it’s from a cult and they’re like, we don’t know what the fuck to do. We can’t get into this phone. So they go to their friend’s house that they were so beginning to in the first place and spin his like crazy story about how Gamal’s like a head injury. And so he can’t remember his, like, password into the phone. And so they get his friend to unlock their front.

S6: Why does his friend have this, like his full laptop, like rig at his friend’s party?

S4: I’d like no one fully explains, although I will say that then one of the fun things about that party is like at some point after they got kicked in the chest by the horse and like the bacon, they buy all new outfits at like drug store. And so they’re wearing like ridiculous but adorable clothes, like for the rest of you, basically.

S3: She’s got like a unicorn hoodie and like sparkly purple pants or something.

S4: Yeah. So they show up at their friends and they like can cock this whole story, like we need to get into phone like he’s a good guy. He won’t break into the phone lines. He comes with a stick and they also like him, come up with a good story. And they also need like fancy clothes. So that negative basically get to have, like, the glow up. But they’re like, you look so good, you look so good. And then they go to like a weird sex party. Now we talk about the weird sex party isn’t so funny and stupid movie like that’s like where I felt the movie was like we’re sort of just like going for it. Like the masks were like good, bad masks. I thought.

S3: I mean, they’re very like true detective season two, which is just a weird, like reference to drop in the middle of this thing for like the four people who actually stuck with that.

S4: Yeah, very nice shot. I mean, it also took a good theme and they’re there in the audience like they go to the sex. Right. And they’re in this audience and like, everyone’s like intoning along and they, like, have to pretend to intone along that there’s some comedy in that, like, they don’t know any of the words and then they tell. Take off their masks and of course, like they are the only people that do it because you’re never. Take off your mask, at which point like the police come. And it was a real bit like they know they didn’t do anything wrong because, like, they saw they weren’t driving the security cameras, like, the whole time. So the whole thing was just to make them bond and realize they love each other.

S3: Yeah, that’s a great beat for me. Like they are. You know, this this one cop has been calling them the whole time and they’ve been sending it to voicemail. And she’s like, finally, you picked up the phone. We’ve been trying to keep you safe. And they’re like, oh, you can call them. And she’s like, no other security camera footage of the whole thing. And it’s just like, oh, you’re like you are literally the entire plot of this movie, which just you kind of being idiots and not just going to the cops immediately, but also why didn’t the cop leave a voicemail like send it text and an e-mail?

S6: Like, I know there are other ways to communicate besides waiting for them to pick up the phone if she thinks they’re like in danger.

S4: I’ve been thinking about this so much about contact tracing, which is just like don’t call. People tend to have them. Everyone reads their text messages. If this is important for you to get in touch with somebody I know, like, not everyone read their text messages and like older people maybe don’t, but like, just be like it’s the police. We know you didn’t do anything wrong. No, exactly.

S6: I can never pick up phone calls from unknown numbers. And I’m like, if it’s important, I’m going to leave a voicemail. And if they don’t have voicemail, they need to get in contact with me. So leave a voicemail. They might have been listening to their voicemail. To be fair, they were running around. That is true.

S3: Yes. So they get picked up by the cops after this whole kind of eyes wide shut sex party in court and they get pulled into the interrogation room. You realize don’t think there’s been a big misunderstanding. Everything’s fine. They’re just gonna get a ride home and everything’s going to be OK. So they get into the car with the cop is gonna drive them home. And it is not don’t mustache who is legitimately a cop and has been behind this conspiracy the whole time and they’re now going to get murdered.

S4: He does like a freelance gig for the sex club because it pays him and his partner his bicycle and then bicycle, like tried to blackmail them. He got too greedy. So we got to kill bicycle. And you’re sad about it. So then physically. Right. Like, he keeps them in the car and goes in like does and stuff. So they have some time to like, use the cigarette lighter to free themselves and then they, like, pretend they’re not free and wait. Way too long until he was just about to shoot them, to fight him. And they like managed to not kill but like send mustache into the water at the marina that they’re being killed at.

S6: And they when they survive, so she shoots him and then like his moving ahead with something. But then the cops show up and he’s alive, but like, he falls into the water and just doesn’t resurface. And I’m like, how did he not why is he alive? But how did they find him?

S4: You know, he should be drowned. He seems very drowned.

S6: Yeah. He used to be very dead, but he’s not because that’s apparently too grungy for this movie. But so, yeah, the rest of the cops show up and they’re like, oh, no, we didn’t realize that he was doing all of this. And it’s like you also do your jobs better. I guess they decide to have sex in the back of an ambulance. Like, cause they’re like injured, which makes no sense because the EMT always rides the back of the ambulance with you. And also the EMT driving can see everything in the back of the ambulance to make sure that you’re not actually hurt. So, like, they decide to get back together and they’re like our first thing to do to spice up our relationship is to have sex in the back of an ambulance.

S5: And I’m like, that’s not going to work out for you. Like, this is not going to this doesn’t have this where I’ve ridden the back of the ambulance.

S4: Everything else in the movie is entirely plus that doesn’t work. But it’s also part of the weirdness of the way that what’s wrong with our relationship is underdeveloped because there’s like in the first fight they have, like when you first come into them, fighting when they’re fighting, like the Amazing Race, like right after they’ve had the schmoozy montage. And then it cuts to four years later and they’re fighting. It is all with information that they don’t have, like freaky sex and like that’s what’s wrong with their sex life. But like like it’s just so half baked. Like, that’s not like a real idea. And then when they’re at the friend’s house and trying to get the phone unlocked and getting their clothes all like fancy again, they both have conversations where with other people who sort of describe how like how much they love each other. So like that tech guy who Camille character is jealous of is like, oh, he talks about you all the time. I’m just like refusing to call them by the names. They haven’t the character. And then and meanwhile, like he’s his best friend is like they’re both like, no, you have the perfect relationship. And he’s like, you have the relationship. He’s like, oh no, not at all. It’s like all just for show. And like you seem like you guys have freaky sex all the time. And she’s like, oh, that’s all just for Instagram. Like, that’s all just her social media show. Everything is like half done in like actually what’s happening in their relationship. So they get back together. And I was just like you. I’m so happy I got back together for like a month like that. That was like the thing gut feeling to me is like relationships that start under intense circumstances never last. Like to quote speed and like that was. What this was like, you’re going to like, honey, I feel like six months and then you’re gonna just be at each other’s throats and you’ll just be like, Oh right. That time we were gonna break up because we don’t like each other very much.

S3: The whole sort of eyes wide shut. Sex Party also pays off like part of that initial argument about sex work. He’s saying, like, OK, we’re gonna go to this party, we’re going to have sex later. And she’s like, oh, that’s so hard that you’d like, you know, made a schedule for us to have sex. And they start talking about, like, freaky sex and orgies. And he’s like, already stuff just happened, people playing them. There’s probably a Google calendar invite, like now it probably just happens spontaneously. Then they go to the orgy. And it seems indeed that the people have like when they have, you know, QR codes, I think the bicycle literally had a look, you know, calendar alert set for it and stuff. So he is vindicated in that respect and basically nobody’s relationship as is, you know, sort of hot or spontaneous as Instagram or perhaps other romantic comedies might make it seem.

S6: I really thought all the issues they have with each other would have come up a lot sooner than four years in these feel like very early on issues. And yet here they are four years later, theoretically fighting over Instagram, which seems weird. It takes people a long time to break up sometimes. I don’t know. True.

S5: But so the ending credits scene, they end up going on the amazing rave, which is apparently how they introduce sparks and their relationship. Some people have kids. They go on to win The Amazing Race.

S4: And then, like the very classic, the button is that like they have to ride horses, which because. Yeah. And you’re like, that’s not really funny like that. Like a little like you’re like. That’s not what’s good about this movie. Like it’s just like a bad sitcom joke. You know, there we are there because they’re going to win The Amazing Race.

S3: So I think we’ve as a group come to the conclusion that this is not a movie who’s like plot or romances is very satisfying. But it is it’s got to a very appealing comedic leads. And a lot of it is like little standout moments that they could find to like to watch at home. Are there any particular kind of favorites?

S6: We should single out when they’re in the back of a lift. They take lift throughout this entire movie, which seems like a bad decision to make if the cops are theoretically tracking their credit cards. But they have vagabonds lived on the way to the Sex Party and Firework by Katy Perry starts playing and easily starts singing and camos like, no, you always do this. When I’m upset, I’m not going to start singing. And I was like, I don’t know you’re talking about. And she just like starts singing the song and they end up singing it together. And at the end of the scene you, like, panned forward and see the lift driver also singing along with them, which I thought was really cute and funny.

S4: It’s also where she keeps making fun of him for, like, having his ride share open, like the first time they get in, like in a car like they are with another couple who she like, loses it on their action movie. But like that’s like a funny can see. Like, this is like forget to turn off.

S3: It’s like they’re like we’re running, we’re running from the cops. And you chose a shared ride. And still ahead tonight at the default, just didn’t turn it off.

S4: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’s like moments, but the whole thing is like, so weird example of a script. I think I thought I thought this already, but like, the things they get right are really, really hard to get. Right. Like having the dialogue not like kind of suck, you know, like that or just like the Internet, like between them be kind of funny. But like everything else about the script is very deeply mediocre. Like they have this one piece, it’s pretty difficult to do, but it’s like it’s sort of like feel like the Apatow movie and model of like you just like you workshop the jokes till like the jokes are pretty good. But then like everything else about it is really not good. Like someone needed to do like that. But for like that creativity of like the actual plot.

S3: Right. You won’t like it sort of just like a rom com, you know, a specialist like maybe you and Fletcher have done a script pass or something like, yeah, put it all together.

S4: The bones are bad. You don’t I mean, like, cosmetically it’s OK. But like, the bones are broken and like we know that osteoporosis or whatever it’s like. Sam did in his review of this film. Firstly, ICOM point is like a comedy of remarriage, although they don’t actually get married, which is sort of this famous old school romantic comedy format that includes like The Awful Truth in the Philadelphia Story and Holiday and a bunch of other, you know, Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Cary Grant, Irene Dunne and various other movies that, like it’s complicated, is sort of a comedy of remarriage, almost like this idea of like a couple that knows each other really well. That breaks up. And then the movies, them getting back together. And I love movies like that. My loved thinking about this movie like that. Except that I thought actually, as is often the case in comedies of remarriage, that you’re like you guys broke up for a reason. His right that it’s going to work out because of like this duress is is like the biggest fantasy of all. You know? You know, romantic comedies have like such a weight towards the characters, you know, so like in actual life, you break up with someone and then you meet someone else. And then that other person becomes like the real person in your life or whatever, you know, like it’s not like most people’s ex-boyfriend doesn’t become. Their forever partner. But because of the way that, like our familiarity works like that is so often the thing that romantic comedies fall back on. So like in High Fidelity, it’s the dude that’s been lurking around for the whole thing, like her ex-boyfriend, that it’s like really her heart song or this Anna Kendrick show spoiler. Like I have not seen the last two episode of the show. But I would bet you a good jillion dollars that the opening dude that she’s with and then breaks up with is going to reappear like he’s just too lovely. So yeah, it’s very hard to wrap your head around. Like, oh, the best person for them would be the person who’s not in this movie. Oh, give me a movie in the last four minutes like that doesn’t make sense in a script way.

S3: So as I mentioned the beginning, like this is a movie. This is supposed to be a theatrical movie. This was a big, you know, universal summer release until there were no summer releases and then it ended up on Netflix. You know, one of the issues that’s kind of going to be ongoing through this, you know, this covered 19 pandemic is whether these kinds of movies are going to make their way back into theaters or whether, you know, the rom com, the kind of mid budget comedy which has been sort of slowly drifting towards Netflix and streaming debuts to begin with, whether it’s its day in movie theaters, is just done in theaters or just for a kind of superhero movies and blockbusters. Is this a movie that you wish you had seen even not necessarily on the big screen, but just like with an audience? Do you think it would have. We would have liked it more in that context, or is this just this already belonged in your Netflix queue?

S6: I kind of miss the audience laughter. I think there were parts, whereas like this moment, it definitely would have gotten like a pretty big laugh in theaters. But I was with my roommate, which kind of simulated be experiencing being in a theater.

S5: I’m not mad and didn’t pay twenty dollars to see it in a New York theater. But I definitely think that this is more of like when we can actually have friends over again. This is a movie that you would box with, like a group of friends rather than something I would pay to go to a theater to see.

S4: I mean, this would like a catch 22 here, which is like a movie like this would definitely be better in theaters. But that’s not cause it’s good. That’s because theaters make things that are bad a little better because, like, it’s a fun experience. And so other people are having a good time. I am saddened that, like, romantic comedies are not a thing that I mean, they are obviously a really a thing on Netflix, but that romantic comedies have sort of become this like stepchild of like theatrical releases. But part of the reason that’s happened is because they’re not that good. Like, a lot of them are extremely rote and not inspired. And like every so often you see a really good one, like plus one or something, and you’re like, oh, that’s much better than all these other ones that they’re totally like will do the trick. But like, you kind of can watch them like a half paying attention and like skipping around on Netflix and have a good time if you had to. Mosquitoes are like with friends like can fall asleep to them, like you got to dos them, whoever you want. Like this is not worth a twenty dollars. So how can you be bummed at this movie in particular. Like isn’t in theaters. It just seems like so designed for this exact purpose. I want romantic comedies just to be better and then come out in movie theaters. But like at the same time probably this would have been more fun to see in movie theaters because like you had popcorn and like other people in the audience sort of like saying funny things and laughing, you know, that’s doesn’t change like the actual quality of this product. I mean, also think about the quality, whose product is also interesting is like both of the lead actually get added so much to it. And so it’s almost like it’s weird to say it like beneath them because they’re like the only good thing about it. And it’s very like they showed their work, like, you can really see what they brought to it, but it’s still just like, not good enough.

S3: Yeah. One of the things I read about in my review is that I feel like one of the reasons watching us who watch so clear how great particularly Soraya’s is because the movie is not up to her levels. So she’s just kind of walking all over it like just, you know, do a dance and, like, knock things out of the park or the movies, just kind of like trudging along. And it’s very like pedestrian level. And I would you know, I would love to see her in a movie where, like, she kind of has to, like, work to be as good as or at least like there’s like more of a back and forth, rather like a movie that doesn’t let a runaway with it quite so easily.

S4: Like, if there’s an actual script and not just like them being funny as like like like no. Like please rescue us and make this scene funny, like which they do very capably. Like it’s not there, there’s no like. Like the movie underneath is not there.

S3: Yeah. So hopefully she has a RINO rom com script in a drawer somewhere and she’ll use her insecure hiatus to shoot it one day, something we should all just like watching together. Yes. There is also that. Yeah. All right. On that note, watch insecure on HBO, Max.

S7: That is our show. Please subscribe to the Slate spoiler special podcast, Ft. And if you like a show, please rate and review in the Apple podcast store or wherever you got your podcast. If you have suggestions for movies or TV shows, you should spoil in the future. If you have any other feedback you’d like to share. Please send it to spoilers at Slate dot com. Our producer is Rosemary Bellson and Willa Paskin Natural Passion. I’m Sam Adams. Thanks for listening.