3.5/4

The Big Sick [2017] ★★★½

From the trailer and poster you might think this is yet another film about culture clashes with absolutely nothing new to offer. But it doesn’t take long for this constantly appealing crowd-pleaser to draw you in, win you over, and make you leave with a big smile on your face. How you can create a movie with a serious tone that manages to respect its subject and still be funny as hell is a mystery to me, but director Michael Showalter and stand-up comedian Kumail Nanjiani have managed to pull it off. Nanjiani is extremely likable as a Pakistani comedian who meets and falls in love with an American girl, played by Zoe Kazan. Standard comedy stuff? You’d think. Then something serious happens, and this is my cue to shut up. Kudos to director Michael Showalter for keeping the tone of the movie on-target at every turn, which is no small achievement for a movie that clocks in at 2 hours but never feels long. There couldn’t be a more serious subject, yet Nanjiani makes the comedy seem both spontaneous and organic. And by the end, “The Big Sick” gave me more satisfaction than many other movies of the same genre. Needless to say, it’s one of my favorite movies of the summer season. Do not miss it.

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