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A rom-com with more than just laughs, The Big Sick deftly balances family drama, cultural clashes and illness in a way that makes sense. It also glances at issues of religious tolerance and the competitive peculiarity of stand-up comedy. Starring Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and Zoe Kazan, this real-life romantic comedy is written by the couple and directed by Michael Showalter (Hello, My Name Is Doris). It’s a While You Were Sleeping for a wide-awake generation.

The Story

The Big Sick is a rom-com with heart, a movie that proves you can have both laughs and tears in the same movie. This is thanks to a pair of strong leads in the form of Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan. Both are a joy to watch, with Kazan unapologetically stealing every scene she is in and Nanjiani displaying the kind of comic timing that makes his character feel real.

The film’s culture clash arc and Emily’s sudden coma bring in some more heavy weight, but even when the plot veers into darker territory it retains its sense of warmth. This is mostly due to the fact that the film establishes such loveable characters in its first act.

The Big Sick features some great supporting turns from Holly Hunter and Ray Romano, but it is all held together by the chemistry between Nanjiani and Kazan. Their smitten courtship and tender interactions are a testament to the power of good acting.

The Cast

A genuinely sweet romantic comedy with surprising depth of feeling, THE BIG SICK is one of the best movies you’ll see this summer. Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) connects with grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan) when she heckles him during a stand-up set, and what starts out as a one-night-stand morphs into a full-fledged relationship, which complicates his life with his traditional Muslim parents.

The flixtor film strikes a delicate balance between serious drama and comic insight, and it’s easy to see why this movie has resonated so well with audiences. Nanjiani and Gordon, who wrote the script and executive produced along with Judd Apatow and Barry Mendel, have a natural chemistry on screen.

Kazan is a sparkling foil to Nanjiani’s droll wit, and she can convey the emotional complexities of their situation with a touch. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are also wonderful as Emily’s bigoted parents, adding some much-needed ballast to the dramedy. The Big Sick is a smart, funny film that deserves its wide release in the multiplex.

The Director

In a summer of blockbusters and sequels, The Big Sick is something fresh and vital. A layered and nuanced film, it manages to balance humor and pathos with ease, thanks to the talents of its cast. The real-life relationship between Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V Gordon is the source of the screenplay, which gives the film a personal touch.

Directed by Michael Showalter, the movie manages to avoid stooping to base rom com tropes and instead treats its characters with respect. The movie also benefits from the presence of Ray Romano and Holly Hunter, whose deadpan delivery provides excellent balance to Nanjiani’s sardonic wit.

The Big Sick is a heartfelt and hilarious movie that deserves to be seen. It’s the kind of dramedy that combines cultural clashes, family drama and medical crises in a way that never feels overblown or contrived. With its funny and touching story, the film proves that love can survive any obstacle.

The Rating

Even when it gets serious, The Big Sick keeps a cockeyed air. It’s easy to imagine Kumail and Emily bantering adorably, and their chemistry is undeniable. But their conversations also delve into matters of racial and ethnic identity, the reality of illness, and family tensions.

Unlike many other movies, this one isn’t bogged down by raunch and ribald jokes, or by insipid wish-fulfillment. Instead, it mines its premise — about an interracial couple that clashed with tradition — for enormous amounts of humor and heart.

The Big Sick is a testament to writer-actor Kumail Nanjiani, who penned the script with his wife, co-writer Emily V. Gordon, and directed himself. It’s a movie that knows how to strike just the right balance, gliding from wry humor to harrowing family drama. It reveals that love can be difficult, and that’s something worth celebrating. The film is an exhilarating romantic comedy that shows there’s still life in the genre, and a bright future for its best practitioners.