The Big Sick

Rated 3.0

If you’re a stand-up comedian in a movie, it’s only a matter of time before you’re suffering a sad, unfunny, baggage-spewing nervous breakdown on stage. In Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick, the comedian on the brink is Kumail Nanjiani, playing himself as a Pakistan-born man torn between worlds. Kumail’s traditional family tries to push him into an arranged marriage, but he instead dates strong-willed white therapist Emily (Zoe Kazan) on the sly, before his surplus of secrets pulls them apart as well. The entire situation becomes exponentially complicated when Emily goes into a coma. There is a lot to like about The Big Sick, especially the charismatic performances of Nanjiani and Kazan, who are given sturdy support by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. But at 119 minutes long, it may be too much of a good thing—I have rarely been so aggravated by such a funny and heartwarming film. D.B.