One night in Chicago at a standup comedy club Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) is doing his five minute shtick about his life in Pakistan when he happens to get a woo who yell from a girl in the audience. Well one thing leads to another, eyes meet, conversation strikes and Kumail is taking Emily (Zoe Kazan) home for the night. Time goes by and both Kumail and Emily are swiftly becoming a couple, yes boyfriend and girlfriend, discovering most of the ins and outs of each other, their lives and their personalities. Well almost all! When the first major fight erupts it’s all about meeting the parents. One big problem Emily told her parents Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano) all about Kumail but Kumail has not mentioned anything to his family about Emily, not his mother Sharmeen (Zenobia Shroff), father Azmat (Anupam Kher), his brother Naveed (Adeel Akhtar) or his wife. Kumail’s comedian friends all knew, CJ (Bo Burnham), Mary (Aidy Bryant), Chris (Kurt Braunohler) his roommate, Bob (Jeremy Shamos), Andy (David Alan Grier) and Sam (Ed Herbstman) about his relationship with Emily but he could not tell his family. In Pakistan the parents arrange the marriage for their children to another Pakistani.
When Emily found out that Kumail did not tell his family and the situation it would put him in she wondered if she could imagine a world in which they would end up together. All the comedians dreamed of making it to the Montreal Comedy Festival which could really change their lives, so many were focusing on making it there. As for Kumail he was focusing not only on that but also moving on from Emily. That is until he gets a phone call from Emily’s friend saying that Emily is in the ER at City View Hospital. When Kumail arrives he gets to speak with Emily but before he knows it she is facing a major health issue and must be put into a medically induced coma. Soon Kumail is faced with meeting her parents who happen to know every little detail of their relationship right up to the break up and mother is none too happy. While Emily is fighting off some strange aggressive virus Kumail is trying to bond with her parents while dealing with his determined mother to get him married to a Pakistani woman.
An important question comes into light, “why come to America if you’re not going to live like an American”? Very powerful question actually one of several in dealing with mixed couples, religion, foreign ideals and family. In the end, Kumail moves to New York City to pursue his comedy with two friends and as for everyone else well woo who!
The film is very timely dealing with current topics in life that are affecting every race and religion. It plays as a dark comedy so if you offend easily you may not find some of the jokes funny especially the one on 9/11. It is nicely directed but just about 20 minutes to long yet the writing helps to move it along with a mixture of laughs, sorrow and much complexity on several topics addressed in this witty film. It will probably not make a lot of money at the box office up against some high octane films like Spider-Man but hopefully it will find those people interested in a dark romantic comedy that has a lot to say.
Nanjiani really does a nice job of leading this film as well as directing it other than the length of course. Kazan at times can be a bit irritating but cute yet you will end of loving her in the end. There is great character development in this movie. Hunter is superb and right in her element as is Romano, two of the best characters in the story. Kher and Shroff are the protective parents set in their old ways and play it off perfectly with one being more understanding then the other. Akhtar was a source of comic relief as were several of the other comedians especially Braunohler. You honestly feel like you’re living your life and all of these characters are your friends since this story is so inviting and relevant to our current times. No animals in this film other than talks of birds.