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Film

Culture clash laughs

OUT NOW! The altogether life-affirming THE BIG SICK takes on love and cultural customs.

Race relations prove rocky, but not insurmountably so, in the altogether life-affirming The Big Sick. Co-writer and star Kumail Nanjiani mines his own personal history for this bittersweet tale of a struggling Pakistani American stand-up comic who keeps his relationship with a white girl named Emily (Zoe Kazan) secret from his Muslim family, whilst resisting their amusingly heavyhanded attempts to coerce him into an arranged marriage. But shortly after an explosive bust-up with Kumail, Emily contracts a mysterious illness and winds up in a medically induced coma. Nanjiani and director Michael Showalter take a premise fit for a mawkish TV movie and spin it into a frank, frequently hilarious study of a man caught between conflicting cultures. It’s rounded out by a stellar supporting cast, with Holly Hunter on award-worthy form as Emily’s no-nonsense mother.

The Big Sick | Directed by Michael Showalter (USA 2017) with Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan. Starts Nov 16.

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