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Love Birds

Love Birds: Lame Duck Romantic Comedy

  • Rhys DarbySally Hawkins
  • ComedyRomance
  • Out now
  • Paul Murphy
reviewed by
Salma Tantawi
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Love Birds: Lame Duck Romantic Comedy

While Hollywood’s
romantic comedies are rightly given their share of criticism for being overly
repetitive, a New Zealand-based comedy comes to prove that, unfortunately, clichés
are not exclusive to Hollywood. However, it isn’t cheesy lines or poor acting
that puts Love Birds in that position; it’s the whole concept of
the film, which drags the actors from emotional weeping to inspirational
moments with orchestral background music, when after all it’s about… a duck.

Destroying
our hope that animal films ended with the 90s, Love Birds focuses
on Doug (Darby), whose girlfriend leaves him because she’s not satisfied with
how he’s living his life. He then finds an injured duck and reluctantly decides
to keep it after failing to find the duck a suitable home, and in doing so, he finds a new sense of enthusiasm
which sends him on a path of self-discovery.

Though the film
is classified as a comedy, it has few laugh-out-loud moments, but then again
it’s not painful to watch either. You might find yourself invested in the duck’s
plight, hoping it wouldn’t end up in a clichéd tearful goodbye. Sadly, a series
of cheesy events dispel that hope.

Of course,
a romantic comedy can’t be without a romance. Doug meets Holly (Hawkins), a
veterinarian that he asks for advice on how to care for the duck. If Holly
didn’t exist in the plot, Love Birds would
have been just about a man who talks to his duck. Hawkins is talented and delivers her lines well, yet her rather forced performance
adds nothing to the disjointed film. Darby has a solid comedic background having found fame with TV series Flight of the Conchords,
but this venture just doesn’t come together despite all of its attempts at quirky charm.

Love Birds fails to bring out the
laughs expected, and if anything, the film targets an
older audience with its more sombre atmosphere, long motivational speeches and
the lead’s bouts of self-pity. Doug is a fan of Queen so at least the
background music was good, but other than that, someone should have warned the
producers that a comedy about a man and his duck is nothing without a compelling and funny script.

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Must Love Dogs, Marley & Me, Heavy Petting

360 Tip

Sally Hawkins is a British actress whose performance as Poppy in the 2008 film Happy-Go-Lucky won her several international awards, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

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