Screening Room: ‘The Big Sick’

For The Big Sick, comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon turned the story of their on-off romance and the intensive-care crisis that brought them back together, into probably the best romantic comedy of the summer.

The Big Sick is playing now in limited release and expanding soon around the country. My review is at PopMatters:

At the story’s beginning, Kumail is a typical sort for a Judd Apatow-produced romantic comedy. A standup comic who spends most of his time in career anxiety with his comic buddies, Kumail is hoping for the big break and making ends meet as an Uber driver. This is all highly upsetting to his parents. For them, as one of Kumail’s better gags in the movie goes, the hierarchy of employment for a good Pakistani son runs in descending order: doctor, engineer, lawyer, “hundreds of jobs, ISIS”, and then comedian…

Here’s the trailer:

Now Playing: ‘In a World…’



Everybody remembers Don LaFontaine, or at least that voice of his which for years rattled through seemingly every movie trailer in existence with his hyperdramatic trademark opening: “In a world…” His legacy hangs over Lake Bell’s debut as writer/director/star of the same title, an unlikely comedy that succeeds where it by all means should not.

My review is at Film Racket:

Voice actors might not be the unsung heroes of the movie world but they are partly responsible for why many people go to see one movie or another. In the end, Lake Bell’s chaotic but assured comedy doesn’t really have much to do with the artistry or even the business of the voiceover, but it makes for a good enough hook to hang her various sketches from…

In a World… is playing now in limited release; check it out.

Here’s the trailer:


New in Theaters: ‘Love Is All You Need’

Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm consider whether ‘Love Is All You Need’

loveisallyouneed-posterThere’s nothing about the premise of Susanne Bier’s Love Is All You Need that sounds promising. A young couple plans their wedding in a sumptuous Italian villa while their newly-single parents strike up a potential romance of their own. Add some comic relief annoyances and the stage is set for wacky misunderstandings and love under the lemon trees. The result, while not spectacular, is fortunately much more satisfying than expected.

Love Is All You Need opens today in limited release. My review is at Film Racket.

Here’s the trailer: