The Big Sick

[4.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

I was aware of Kumail Nanjiani from HBO's Silicon Valley, he also was quite funny when he hosted Saturday Night Live last October. So I put his movie in the Netflix queue (which turned out to be stupid, because I could have streamed in on Amazon Prime, but spilt milk).

It's the based-on-fact story of Nanjiani's rocky relationship with Emily. They meet while he's doing standup in a Chicago comedy club, (conveniently filled with comedy club stereotypes). They hit it off, but… Kumail is constrained by his Pakistani family loyalties, and they demand (a) he remain a good Muslim, and (b) marry a nice Pakistani girl in a classic arranged marriage.

Kumail can't bring himself to tell his family about Emily, nor can he man up to Emily about what his family expects. But she finds out anyway, he fumbles the ball, and they break up as a result.

But the movie isn't called The Big Sick for nothing. Emily comes down with a nasty infection, which sends her to the hospital and a medically-induced coma. Which brings Kumail back into the picture, and a meeting with Emily's parents (played stunningly well by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano).

This sounds like an unlikely plot for a romantic comedy, but it worked for me.

Spoiler: it all works out. In real life, Kumail and Emily have been married for 10 years.