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Monday, October 2, 2017


The romcom is alive and thriving if this delightful multicultural comedy is any indication. (Review by Patrick Compton - 9)

Watching the average product in this genre can be a disappointing experience as you see the cumbersomely clichéd plot mechanics clicking into gear. The Big Sick, however, is a refreshing exception as it’s a wittily scripted charmer firmly situated in the real world rather than the scriptwriter’s cliché-ridden bubble.

Perhaps this is not so surprising as the plot is taken from the personal experiences of the two stars, stand-up comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani and the woman he courted, Emily Gordon. The couple co-wrote the script and the movie is directed by Michael Showalter.

Nanjiani plays a version of himself, a stand-up comedian named Kumail who meets Emily (a radiant Zoe Kazan) during one of his shows. As with all the best romcoms, the audience falls in love with them both and wants their relationship to survive. Of course there are hurdles. The major one is cultural: Kumail’s traditional parents wouldn’t tolerate their son having a relationship with a non-Muslim girl, preferably one from Pakistan, and one of the movie’s entertaining subplots is the stream of young women that Kumail’s mother (Zenobia Shroff) sets him up with.

At this delicate stage, the two lovers fall out, not least because Kumail keeps his new relationship a secret from his family. Then, in a radical plot twist, Emily is removed from the action for a period. This forces Kumail to develop an initially uncertain relationship with her parents (great roles for the wonderful Holly Hunter and Ray Romano). In the end, The Big Sick becomes as much about Kumail’s developing friendship with Emily’s parents as it is about his relationship with their daughter.

This is a wonderfully scripted movie with a lot of heart and a shrewd understanding of people’s vulnerabilities and complexities. It deserves to be a big hit in Durban. – Patrick Compton