Two romantically-involved FBI agents assigned to “objectively and dispassionately” investigate possible crimes by the Trump presidency privately discuss their loathing of the president and his supporters. [ FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers credits: Dir: Richard Kuhlman/ 82 min/ Written by: Phelim McAleer/ Dean Cain, Kristy Swanson, Bruce Nozick, Christopher T. Wood/ Film (Stage Play)/ Abuse of Power/ 2019]
Note: the full film may be found on YouTube.
In late 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was investigating a possible Russian connection to the Trump presidency, discovered a long series of romantic texts between one of the key FBI agents assigned to his investigation, Peter Strzok, and one of the FBI attorneys on his team, Lisa Page. The texts revealed not only that the two were having an extramarital affair, but that they were wildly partisan and violently opposed to the Trump presidency, an awkward revelation — when it finally became public — that undermined the credibility of Mueller’s supposedly fair and objective and investigation.
Subsequently, the Department of Justice released the full details of the texts. It turned out there was a lot more to them, suggesting not just bias on the part of the agents but possible plans to sabotage the Trump administration. Republicans were outraged, and Strzok was summoned before Congress.
Filmmaker and writer Phelim McAleer had the genius to recognize the drama in all this (as well as the comedy) and to weave it all into a play – FBI Lovebirds, cleverly employing both the texts and key elements of the Congressional testimony.
You might think watching a long verbal exchange between two investigators would be a very dry experience, but it’s not – it’s delightfully entertaining, even engaging, thanks in large part to the superb acting of Dean Cain (yes, that Dean Cain, i.e., Superman) in the role of Strzok, and Kristy Swanson (Buffy, the Vampire Slayer) in the role of Page. The two have a real chemistry and a comic flair that breathes life into the transcribed texts. You get a sense from them not just of the events the texts describe but of the astonishing political arrogance, self-aggrandizement, and immaturity of these two agents at the center of the Trump investigation.
It’s a rare thing to get such a candid view of Deep State actors. Behind all the smooth talking – that seems to be the primary qualification for these jobs – there is a certain ethical bankruptcy. At one point, Page says to Strzok “This is painful – annual ethics training. Ugh.” It’s hilarious in the context and underscores her cynicism. Strzok seems to be something of an egomaniac, viewing himself an heroic guardian of the country, bending the rules if necessary to “fix” the mistake made by our malfunctioning democracy.
The play had an uphill battle getting performed. It was initially planned to be staged at the Mead Theater in Washington, DC, but the theater received threats of violence and cancelled it. Happily, Ronald Reagan came to the rescue, the Ronald Reagan Building, that is, offering a venue for the play, and it was performed there, where it reportedly had its audience of five hundred “howling” with delight. The play was professionally filmed and later edited into the production now freely available on YouTube.
FBI Lovebirds is something of a triumph. The Strzok/Page affair — a scandal of historic proportions that was formerly familiar largely only to journalists and news junkies – has now been given a wider audience and in the most entertaining form imaginable. I recommend FBI Lovebirds both as a primer on Deep State corruption and as solid entertainment.
“What do you get when you take Dean Cain, an actor famous for playing Superman on TV, and Kristy Swanson, the actress who was the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and give them the chance to play a couple of adulterous, wildly partisan FBI agents working at the highest levels of the Mueller Russiagate probe? You get FBI Lovebirds, an outrageous play that had its conservative audience of 500 people howling at its premiere last Thursday at Washington’s Ronald Reagan Center.”
“FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers plays like a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch, only every word is true and it’s actually funny.”