There have been a number of Pakistani or Indian arranged marriage stories recently: Ravi Patel’s documentary, “Meet the Patels”, or episodes from Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None”, both excellent by the way, so “The Big Sick” wanders into the same territory: stand–up comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani of Silicon Valley fame) meets cute but white Emily ((Zoe Kazan, adorable). Kumail wants to keep family harmony so he puts up with his mother’s insistence that he meet with her many choices for an arranged Pakistani mate. Familiar territory for the genre, but when Emily has a medical crisis, Kumail has to deal with his real emotions and how they affect his and Emily’s family. Her parents (Ray Romano and Holly Hunter, at the top of their game here) show up to kick the story into high gear and what promised to be a by the numbers generational battle turns into something both entertaining and meaningful at the same time. Michael Showalter directs the movie with the great timing it demands, and the script by Nanjiani and the real Emily V. Gordon (Nanjiani’s wife) is full of droll humor. There are terrific performances by the principal players and some nice moments from Kumail’s stand-up buddies. Only quibble is the sound production, which made it difficult to hear some of the dialogue. I don’t know if it was the budget or the theater, but eventually the warmth of the film let’s you forget about all that.
My GPA: 3.8