Love Birds fails on almost every conceivable level, yet it's impossible to hate it. Like the movie's protagonist, it's so sweet and simple, you can't be mad at it.
That protagonist is Doug, a Queen aficionado played by Rhys Darby. He was absolutely hilarious as the straight man on Flight of the Conchords, but here he's missing that mix of ineptitude and enthusiasm that made him such a scene-stealer. In fact, he's got almost no personality at all, but he is persistent and a "nice bloke."
In one fateful day, his hot-but-boring girlfriend moves out, and a duck crash lands on his roof. Still in shock from the break-up and not wanting anything else to get hurt that day, he starts caring for the injured bird. That leads him to the local zoo, where he becomes smitten with the expert on hand (Sally Hawkins). She's a divorcée with two kids, and she, as usual, isn't interested in dating. But with the help of his "wingman" (that's a pun the trailer made, not me), he wins her over.
Of course along the way, he shoots the breeze with his co-workers, and his ex comes back in the picture, and Doug and his new love break up only for him to make up with a grand gesture in public. Love Birds makes sure to hit every last cliché.
Now, romantic comedies tend to follow a very rigid structure, but they can be worthwhile if the cast steps it up, or the writing is especially witty, or there's a gimmick that works well. Love Birds has none of that, so the fact that it's so inoffensive and nice is all that's keeping me from calling this a complete waste of time—even though it's really bad, I would never say I hated it.
veryone in the cast has done better, and I hoped they would make this film worthwhile. But because it tries so hard to make you like everyone, particularly the dull leads, the movie never really takes flight. The only character I really rooted for was the duck.