The Big Sick ⭐⭐⭐½

Adapting The Smith’s song, Girlfriend in a Coma, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon has turned it into an indie drama rom-com… only kidding, as that would be in bad taste except this is a somewhat autobiographical film and Gordon was actually in a medically induced coma when the doctors could not figure out why her body was shutting down due to an infection. Tackling one morbid subject as a source of comedy is hard enough but add to that Kumail’s character is a Muslim stand-up comedian from a Pakistani immigrant family who is desperately arranging his marriage, we have more issues to explore here than a Reader’s Digest library. Good thing that their mindful script manages to sidestep the sensitivity and thorniness with charm and humour and produces an engaging winner. It also helps that Emily’s parents are touchingly played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano as unhysterical human beings. Steering clear of sentimentality and false notes, their story is cute but also genuine. Films of this irk are often criticised for the unrealistic, contrived even, fairytale endings, however in this case, they have reality on their side, as it can legitimately work towards a critics-proof positive note followed by photos showing the happy ending in real life. As it turns out, this film is a timely feel-good tonic for the crazy, prejudiced world we live in today.

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