Directed by Michael Showalter
“The Big Sick” is a sympathetic, well-articulated romantic comedy suffused with multicultural imbroglios and witty moments. Michael Showalter directed from the fact-based story written by husband and wife, Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley” TV series) and Emily V. Gordonand.
The former gleefully embodies Kumail, a Chicago stand up comedian and Uber driver of Pakistani descent, who keeps rejecting the Muslim women suggested by his mother. The reason has to do with the crescent infatuation for Emily (Zoe Kazan), the American blonde student that conquered his heart after a one-night stand.
Kumail attempts to overcome several adversities that arrive from two different fronts. On one hand, his conservative parents, so strict in their traditions, will never accept a woman from another culture. On the other, the apple of his eyes gets seriously sick and has to be put in an induced coma until further notice.
As he waits for her awakening, Kumail starts hanging out with her quirky parents, Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter), whose eccentric behaviors are at the base of the most delicious situations of the film.
As a result of the excellent performances, the characters felt truly genuine, even in those risky situations when it would be very easy to fall in the commonplace.
All the sincerity, affability, and graciousness put on this deft formula superimpose to any sort of pretentiousness that might have existed. Still, Mr. Showalter denotes this questionable tendency to resolve every situation with a smile, which could have gone the wrong way. Fortunately, he managed not to turn the story into those syrupy exercises that are more irritating than entertaining.
“The Big Sick” is not the masterpiece that some supporters are proclaiming but undoubtedly presents something more than most of the rom-coms done these days.