This new romantic comedy finds much humor in a very serious subject. It is based on the real life relationship of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Written by the couple and starring Mr. Nanjiani as himself (Emily is played by Zoe Kazan), it starts out as a typical boy meets girl story but takes a very wide turn when Emily falls ill and is placed in a medical coma.
Mr. Nanjiani and Ms. Kazan are both appealing actors and while the first half of the film contains some funny moments, it doesn't really take off until Emily gets sick. At that point, we are introduced to Ray Romano and Holly Hunter as Emily's parents who basically steal the film. There is much humor mined in awkward moments and since Mr. Nanjiani plays a stand up comedian, there is an abundance of jokes and gags both from him and his comedian friends ( most notably Aidy Bryant, Kurt Braunohler, and Bo Burnham).
The cross cultural romance (Mr. Nanjiani is Pakistani) adds a fresh take on the relationship and the scenes of Mr. Nanjiani at home with his parents, brother, and sister-in-law are both humorous and heartbreaking. He can't bring himself to reveal he is in love with an American woman, while his parents continuously try to set him up with Pakistani women.
The film is directed by Michael Showalter and he elects to film the screenplay completely intact. Every moment of the story seems to be captured on film with what appears to be no editing. The lives of Mr. Nanjiani and Ms. Gordon are an open book and while refreshing, it makes a two hour film seem like three hours. The film would definitely benefited from more editing but overall, it is fresh, smart, heartfelt and funny.