The Big Sick

Director: Michael Showalter
Year Released: 2017
Rating: 1.5

Mediocre stand-up comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) has a 'cute' encounter with psych grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan), they decide to date for a few months, she discovers a cigar box filled with pictures of single Pakistani women Kumail's mom keeps making him meet and dumps him - a little later, Emily becomes ill with a mysterious disease and Kumail sticks by her (coma-induced) side (along with her parents, played by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter). I realize this is based on a true story, but there's something artificial and too familiar about the presentation: since it was produced by Judd Apatow, it feels like past work of his (and has similar pacing issues) and the Kumail-Emily relationship comes across as less authentic than the Romano-Hunter marriage (Ray's confession of his cheating is definitely a 'real' moment). Kumail is too smug to identify with: he tosses aside the Pakistani women as if they're nothing (he doesn't even try to be kind to any of them) and is unaware his one-man-show and 'jokes' thud hard (you can "be American" and still treat your heritage with respect). It's mostly a drama with precious little comedy ... unless you find Bo Burnham's snide remarks to be real knee-slappers (Bo's specials, on the other hand, are pleasantly theatrical).