“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a rom com like The Big Sick, the deceptively simple comedy that just played to a rapturous reception at Sundance. Infused with honesty and authenticity, Michael Showalter’s crowd-pleaser is an instantly winning heart-stealer and a superbly well-timed story of culture clash that resolves into a lovely tale of mutual understanding and acceptance. That the story ends on a happy note is not a quite spoiler, as it’s based on the real-life relationship of the film’s married co-writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Nanjiani plays a version of himself—a straight-faced joker who leads a double life as a stand-up comedian and Uber driver. At a gig one night, he meets the vivacious, equally deadpan Emily (Zoe Kazan). Though they’re both commitment-phobes at first, the couple soon launches into an envy-inducing relationship. It’s not all roses though. A Pakistani immigrant with a traditionalist family, Kumail keeps Emily a secret from his parents, enduring frequent fix-ups arranged by his mother. The secrecy takes a toll, and they break up. Then the film’s title comes into play: Emily turns out to have a mysterious lung disease and is put into a medically induced coma. Enter her parents: Beth (Holly Hunter, wonderful as the no-nonsense mother) and Terry (Ray Romano, amiable and soft-spoken), both well aware of how Kumail had broken their daughter’s heart. But while Emily is sleeping, he slowly manages to bond with both Beth and Terry…”—Tomris Laffly, New York. R. 115 Min.
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