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The Big Sick

on Sep 6, 2017

His third film as director, The Big Sick, evidences the best kind of maturation, exploring weightier matters and a broader patch of the human experience while retaining the commitment to funniness that got Showalter here. The screenplay by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon is the very nearly autobiographical story of their courtship, which begins cutely enough but is soon made harrowing by the onset of a life-threatening virus in Emily, played by Zoe Kazan. Nanjiani stars as a version of his comedian self, though the timeline is updated to include things like Uber and Siri. Emily, a grad student, has her relationship with Kumail complicated by his strict Pakistani family, who insist that he accept an arranged marriage with one of many eligible Pakistani women his mother (Zenobia Shroff) blithely schemes to have “drop by” the house. Littered with memorable performances by both comedians and bona fide actors like Holly Hunter, The Big Sick is, most importantly, hilarious, a rare quality impossible to overvalue. (Justin Stewart)

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