Actor's Real-Life Love Story Shines on Screen
Kumail Nanjiani stars as himself in 'The Big Sick'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2017 10:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Kumail Nanjiani has appeared in plenty of movies and TV shows, but his latest project finds him for the first time as both main character and the actor playing him. Nanjiani stars in The Big Sick, which tells the true story of how the Pakistan-born Muslim courted his wife, a white woman who ends up in a medically induced coma. Critics are raving, giving the Michael Showalter-directed film an impressive 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. What they're saying:

  • "You're not likely to have a more pleasant time at the cinema this summer," writes Lindsey Bahr at the AP, calling The Big Sick "the must-see romantic comedy of the year." The film is "sweet-natured, funny, and genuine," yet also "entirely different and infinitely richer than most in the genre," she writes. Though Nanjiani’s wife remains a bit of a mystery, even minor characters are "given distinct and memorable personalities," she adds.
  • Nanjiani "mines the comedy of cultural difference in The Big Sick with a light, sharp touch," helping to produce a movie that, despite its serious subject matter, remains "very funny," writes Manohla Dargis at the New York Times. The film as a whole "tells a great story with waves of deep feeling and questions of identity and makes the whole thing feel like a breeze," she adds. "I fell hard."

  • "It's not your conventional romantic comedy"—it's "an immigrant story as much as it is one about falling in love"—but that's what makes it "so good," writes Alison Willmore at BuzzFeed. The flick "considers marriage not just as a relationship between two people but between two families," she writes. "And, you might think after watching The Big Sick, why don't more rom-coms do this?"
  • Joe Morgenstern predicts it will be "a cockeyed classic." The film takes on a lot but "pulls it off with unquenchable humor and ineffable grace," he writes at the Wall Street Journal. The dialogues is smart and funny, Nanjiani has a "sweetly soulful presence" and Zoe Kazan, playing his wife, is brilliant, he adds. Overall, it's "hilariously hyperverbal, yet wonderfully heartfelt."

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