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Recently Watched Romantic Comedies

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The Big Sick (2017) - Autobiographical rom-com from Amazon Studios and director Michael Showalter. Kumail Nanjiani stars as Kumail, a Pakistani-American stand-up comedian struggling for success in Chicago. He meets and falls for Emily (Zoe Kazan), who he meets at one of his stand-up gigs, but there's a problem: his traditionalist parents want him to submit to an arranged marriage to a Muslim Pakistani girl. His efforts to keep his relationship with a white American girl a secret from his parents eventually leads to discord with Emily, who is unaware of Kumail's dilemma. When Emily suddenly falls deathly ill and into a coma, Kumail must also deal with her parents, Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano). These trying times force Kumail to reevaluate his life and make bold decisions about his future. Also featuring Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, Adeel Akhtar, Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant, Kurt Braunohler, Vella Lovell, and David Alan Grier.

I know Nanjiani from some TV series that he's been in, as well as seeing his stand-up a few times on talk shows. While I've always liked him, I didn't expect to see him in such a well-balanced, authentic, romantic film. He co-wrote it with the real-life Emily (Emily V. Gordon), and their story is fresh, funny, and compelling. Holly Hunter has garnered a lot of praise for her role as Emily's brash mother, and she's good, if a bit showy. Romano is excellently low-key, and I was impressed by Shroff as Kumail's matchmaker mother. This was executive produced by Judd Apatow, and it has that same disregard for cinematic flourishes that all of his movies do. Most modern rom-coms are so formulaic that it's become a running joke how predictable they are. While this movie doesn't re-invent the wheel, it's a very well done look at an unconventional couple. Recommended.  (8/10)

Source: Lionsgate Blu-Ray.


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