A Universally Hated COVID Film Has Infected the Streaming Charts

Songbird reaches top of streaming

Image: HBO

Remember the early days of the pandemic when everyone was stuck at home, utterly detached from the world and doom-scrolling as deaths would only rise? Isn’t that something you’d want to relive and enjoy a movie about to take your mind off of… the pandemic?

2020 saw a few early birds try and catch the COVID movie worm, and among those was the universally rejected film Songbird. Released a year after the virus was declared a pandemic, it was perhaps the ultimate example of “too soon” and just reactionary filmmaking.

Starring KJ Apa and Sofia Carson, it’s a love story between an immunocompromised man and his partner who are separated by a pandemic, lockdown measures, his own health issues, and murderous vigilantes. It’s trying to be Romeo and Juliet, but with a pandemic background, and fails miserably.

There are some bright notes in the film, such as Peter Stormare delivering a delightfully evil performance as well as Alexandra Daddario looking as stunning as ever and showing off her singing talents. One of the most laughable moments comes in the film’s “vision” of what the pandemic would become, with it instead being named COVID-23, and the infected being rounded up into concentration camps.

This may sound brutally stupid, and it’s of no surprise Michael Bay worked as a producer on Songbird. Still, audiences are clearly clamoring for it as it reached the #1 spot on HBO. Perhaps best viewed as a time capsule of what people thought the pandemic would come to, this film will go down in infamy.

With just a 9 percent critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 31 percent audience approval, Songbird is at least able to deliver a tune to streaming audiences.

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