Love Birds is a romantic comedy starring Rhys Darby as Doug, a man who loses his girlfriend and finds a duck (a shelduck, actually), which then leads him to finding someone new. 

Doug is introduced to us cleaning off an old LP (hurrah for vinyl!). He's a Queen fan, and Susan, his girlfriend, leaves him as he listens to "Somebody To Love." That is seriously so cruel that we immediately dislike Susan. But then while Doug is boxing up her stuff, an injured duck enters his house. He takes it to the zoo to seek advice from a bird expert named Holly (played by the wonderful Sally Hawkins, whom you might remember from Never Let Me Go, An Education, Cassandra's Dream and Vera Drake, among others).  She is the one who tells him it's not a duck, it's a shelduck. And there is a definite attraction between the two that Holly's friend is quick to notice.

She gives him the name of a vet - Dr. Buster (played by Bryan Brown, who was in Spring Break Shark Attack and Australia), who tells him he'll be able to help the bird, but that Doug will have to take care of it for a week or so.  While at first eager to have the bird taken off his hands, Doug soon develops a bond with the shelduck (perhaps in part because he's bathed and slept with it). And he takes the bird with him wherever he goes (at first carrying it in a cardboard box, which is frankly adorable - I particularly like the images of him carrying the duck through the grocery store).

He decides to keep the bird after realizing the woman who would take it in is a bit of a loon herself.  This of course leads him to seek more help from Holly, and the two grow close. The relationship is complicated by the fact that Holly has a young son who doesn't immediately take to Doug.

The basic story is something we've seen before, of course. But the chemistry is good between the two leads, and  the shelduck adds a certain quirky (and welcome) element.  As for the supporting characters, we of course have the obligatory friends.  However, when Susan shows up again, I'm surprised. It's like she's invading this other story, and taking away from the main romance. I frankly don't care about her storyline. Susan gets the story going by leaving, but that's it. Her job is done. She does begin to question her choice to leave Doug, and tries to win him back. But she's just not that compelling as a character, so her presence is more of a distraction than a source of conflict or interest.

There are some things in this film that seem a bit forced, such as the car being towed, and the runaway lawnmower. And how did a vet get a hot air balloon?  But I do love the "Flash" bit near the end. And you can never go wrong with a montage to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." Plus, it's a sweet film with lots of heart.  And isn't that what people are looking for when they watch a romantic comedy?

The DVD's special features include interviews with director Paul Murphy (he talks about Queen and casting), actor Rhys Darby (about taking on the project and working with great actors) and actor Sally Hawkins (who talks about her character). There is also a short featurette titled "The Birds In Love Birds," which is footage of the actors being introduced to the birds used in the film.  And of course the trailer is included.

Love Birds was written by Nick Ward and directed by Paul Murphy. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray June 11, 2012.


Love Birds is a romantic comedy starring Rhys Darby as Doug, a man who loses his girlfriend and finds a duck (a shelduck, actually), which then leads him to finding someone new. 

Doug is introduced to us cleaning off an old LP (hurrah for vinyl!). He's a Queen fan, and Susan, his girlfriend, leaves him as he listens to "Somebody To Love." That is seriously so cruel that we immediately dislike Susan. But then while Doug is boxing up her stuff, an injured duck enters his house. He takes it to the zoo to seek advice from a bird expert named Holly (played by the wonderful Sally Hawkins, whom you might remember from Never Let Me Go, An Education, Cassandra's Dream and Vera Drake, among others).  She is the one who tells him it's not a duck, it's a shelduck. And there is a definite attraction between the two that Holly's friend is quick to notice.

She gives him the name of a vet - Dr. Buster (played by Bryan Brown, who was in Spring Break Shark Attack and Australia), who tells him he'll be able to help the bird, but that Doug will have to take care of it for a week or so.  While at first eager to have the bird taken off his hands, Doug soon develops a bond with the shelduck (perhaps in part because he's bathed and slept with it). And he takes the bird with him wherever he goes (at first carrying it in a cardboard box, which is frankly adorable - I particularly like the images of him carrying the duck through the grocery store).

He decides to keep the bird after realizing the woman who would take it in is a bit of a loon herself.  This of course leads him to seek more help from Holly, and the two grow close. The relationship is complicated by the fact that Holly has a young son who doesn't immediately take to Doug.

The basic story is something we've seen before, of course. But the chemistry is good between the two leads, and  the shelduck adds a certain quirky (and welcome) element.  As for the supporting characters, we of course have the obligatory friends.  However, when Susan shows up again, I'm surprised. It's like she's invading this other story, and taking away from the main romance. I frankly don't care about her storyline. Susan gets the story going by leaving, but that's it. Her job is done. She does begin to question her choice to leave Doug, and tries to win him back. But she's just not that compelling as a character, so her presence is more of a distraction than a source of conflict or interest.

There are some things in this film that seem a bit forced, such as the car being towed, and the runaway lawnmower. And how did a vet get a hot air balloon?  But I do love the "Flash" bit near the end. And you can never go wrong with a montage to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." Plus, it's a sweet film with lots of heart.  And isn't that what people are looking for when they watch a romantic comedy?

The DVD's special features include interviews with director Paul Murphy (he talks about Queen and casting), actor Rhys Darby (about taking on the project and working with great actors) and actor Sally Hawkins (who talks about her character). There is also a short featurette titled "The Birds In Love Birds," which is footage of the actors being introduced to the birds used in the film.  And of course the trailer is included.

Love Birds was written by Nick Ward and directed by Paul Murphy. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray June 11, 2012.