I saw this immediately after Fair Game at the 8.15 p.m session. I was fairly bristling after Fair Game. I really expected this film to pass me by. Boy was I wrong! After the shell shock of Fair Game this lovely film was a real tonic.
It is a New Zealand film so as a Kiwi I had a vested interest in it. It cetainly isn't the greatest New Zealand film ever made and it certainly isn't trying to be. I hope this film does well overseas to hightlight smaller nations cinema and through it their culture, etc. Cinema is a great way to see another country without actually being there. Love Bird is really the Kiwi sense of humour at its best. The session I saw was almost full and sadly reflects for me the 'sheepishness' of film goers.
I saw Fair game with two other people but solely because Love Birds is a Kiwi film the punters turned up in droves. It is a constant wonder and something I have seen many, many times. I've seen many exceptional films that fade into obscurity because people won't take the time and effort, or sheer broadmindedness, to see them.
Love Birds is a comedy. Not a slapstick laugh out riot, but a gentle, laid back, love story. Rhys Darby is the master of this type of Kiwi humour. It is subtle, dry and very, very Kiwi in its observations and delivery. Kiwis as a whole are unpretensious as a people and this film delivers that persona perfectly. Overseas audiences will laugh at this films humour, and I genuinely hope the New Zealand flavour is picked up by them.
It symbolises what I like about New Zealand cinema. It isn't big budget, but big budget doesn't equate to a quality film. This again adds essence to the New Zealand flavour of this film. It is a unique sense of humour to us as a people and ALL Kiwis will laugh and enjoy this film immensely. They will recognise themselves and their country in it.
This is what makes this film so lovely. It is aimed specifically at a target market, New Zealanders. It hasn't embelished or fiddled around with this to make it appealing to overseas audieneces. Its laid back style though will apppeal to many types of people. The swearing is minimal and that used by everyday people. Darby is wonderful, Sally Hawkins is wonderful! And Bryan Brown is again at his best with his deadpan style of humour and delivery. A Kiwi film it is, but the Aussie Brown fits in delightfully.
The script is lovely. Whilst not totally original the humour and its delivery makes up for any lack of originality. The whole cast feel as if they had fun making this film and they work together well. It isn't acting that is brilliant or award winning, but is typical of this quality of New Zealand film. It is light hearted and not too serious as to subdue the humour. In other words this film is low key in delivery and a really nice way to spend several hours.
In a word this film is charming. Please see it and enjoy!