The last time that actor Kumail Nanjiani teamed with director Michael Showalter, the result was the brilliant and moving 2017 comic drama, “The Big Sick.” Their new collaboration, “The Lovebirds,” is a Netflix romantic comedy-slash-action flick that isn’t nearly as successful. Nanjiani and Issa Rae play a couple in a tenuous relationship whose bickering takes a back seat when circumstances throw them into a murder mystery. Some of the dialogue is crisp and the leads are appealing, but their characters make choices that are so unrealistic and calculated that it all becomes pretty absurd. Still, “The Lovebirds” provides laughs for viewers who aren’t too demanding.
Kristen Scott Thomas leads the cast in the low-key comedy “Military Wives,” now available on VOD platforms. It covers a true story about the ups and downs of a group of British women who try to form a choir when their husbands are off to war in Afghanistan. The script is strictly by-the-numbers, but the genial cast and good-natured vibe make it a palatable choice to recommend to your mom.
Mary J. Blige stars in another VOD offering “Body Cam,” a grisly movie that blends a police procedural with the supernatural horror genre. Blige plays a Louisiana cop whose fellow officers are killed one-by-one by an inexplicable malevolent force. She’s the only one who is able to see the body cam footage showing the carnage. The filmmakers manage to create some well-crafted death scenes, but their attempt to make sociological points don’t land quite as well.
Your local art house theaters are offering online viewing options for a number of intriguing movie titles. More information is available at nelson-atkins.org, Screenland.com, fineartsgroup.com and bbtheaters.com.