Directed by Michael Showalter
Written by Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano
Kumail (Nanjiani) and Emily (Kazan) have fallen in love, but their cultural backgrounds are getting in the way. After a mysterious illness brings Kumail together with Emily’s parents, he begins to understand their relationship in new ways.
This movie is based (to some degree) on the true story of how Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani’s (The LEGO Ninjago Movie) started their relationship. Gordon and Nanjiani wrote the screenplay and Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer) directed. The cast of the film includes Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan (Revolutionary Road), Holly Hunter (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?), and Ray Romano (Ice Age).
Gordon and Nanjiani did a great job writing this one. It’s a solid romantic comedy that has enough heart to endear the characters to you. The comedy comes first, really setting up the characters nicely. Then the romance and drama build steadily from there. The dialogue is a witty and sometimes a bit too cute, but it works. The drama in the film isn’t pushed too hard, and allows for the comic moments to feel right. The writing also allows the culture and the misconceptions of culture to play a major part in the movie. The little twists and turns make this one worth checking out. The writing was also good enough to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
This movie has feeling of honesty that comes from the cast. Perhaps it’s Kumail Nanjiani playing himself that helps the most. His performance is honest and funny. He also connects wonderfully with Kazan and the rest of the cast. Zoe Kazan also does a great job with her role. She shares a chemistry with Nanjiani that’s essential to the story. The performances of Holly Hunter and Ray Romano add a lot to the movie as well. Each of the stars seemed to connect to the story, and the genuine emotion in the film is powerful. The other actors in this one add their own nice performances that help to create a rich world for the story. Between the comedic strength and emotional range of the cast, this one just works.
This movie is nicely done from a production standpoint. The camera work, locations, sets, costuming, editing, and music all work together and nothing feels cheaply done or lazy. If you’re a fan of the stars, this is one you definitely need to see. The language is a bit strong, so it might not be for everyone. I would also suggest this one to fans of romantic comedies (or romantic dramedies). I give this one 4.6 out of 5 stars.