Opening November 16, 2017
Directed by: Michael Showalter
Writing credits: Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon
Principal actors: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano
The Big Sick, despite its quirky title, heralds the return of the lighthearted romcom. The romance takes place in Chicago between Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail Nanjiani (who plays himself) and American grad student Emily Gardner (Kazan). All the pitfalls of a cross-cultural romance are portrayed, including the relentless matchmaking mission of Kumail’s devout Muslim family. The comedy, both endearing and wryly topical becomes more subdued when Emily gets sick. That is when Kumail is confronted with Emily’s parents (Hunter and Romano) who are not convinced he is Mr. Right. Emily’s father Terry just can’t help himself asking Kumail what his “stance” on 9/11 is. The comedian in Kumail can’t resist an ironic quip…whoops.
Kumail Nanjiani (known as the character Dinesh in the sitcom Silicon Valley) wrote the screenplay along with his wife Emily V. Gordon based loosely on their own love story. Judd Apatow (Bridesmaids) produced the movie which premiered at Sundance in January. Those of you who have tired of watching When Harry Met Sally for the umpteenth time, here is a new romcom to fall in love with. (Pat F.)