Posts Tagged ‘Silicon Valley’

Note: Portions of this review were first published during coverage of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival

the-big-sick-movie

Written by and based on the life of Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick functions like an inter-nationality take on “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” for the millennial generation.

Before he was an anchor player on TV Comedies like Silicon Valley, Nanjiani was a stand-up comedian slumming it on his way up the food chain and a closeted agnostic in a family of strict adherents to Islam and Pakistani culture, which includes arranged marriages. In the dramatized version, he meets the decidedly *not* Pakistani Emily (Zoe Kazan) after a gig, kicking off a courtship that is tested first by his reluctance to reveal all to his disapproving parents and second by a mystery ailment that places Emily in a medically-induced coma.

The writing is sharp, with a sharp blend of comedy and drama as Kumail deals with the titular “Big Sick” Emily experiences. It also includes knock-out supporting roles by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano as Emily’s parents, who arrive with their own marital demons in tow to the bedside of their ailing daughter. The film’s best moments derive from the stuttered progress Nanjiani makes winning over the parents of a woman he scorned as the three characters hope for the best but fear the worst.

That the based-on-a-true-story film ends on a positive note isn’t spoiling much , but “Big Sick” keeps the tension under the breezy humor and the film easily earns its sentimental finish.

Grade: A

*The Big Sick opens in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 7.

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bronze-melissa-rauch

Note: This review was originally published during coverage of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch stars as Hope Ann Greggory in ‘The Bronze’, a raunchy comedy about an Olympic gymnast who captured the nation’s heart only to see her star fade into obscurity when her career is cut short by injury. The film picks up 12 years after Greggory’s third place finish at the games, with the former athlete having devolved into a petulant, crass and maladjusted woman-child who clings to the memory of her former glory.

Rauch, as the caustic and off-putting Greggory, is almost unrecognizable in the role, the complete opposite of her doe-eyed and chipper-voiced Bernadette on Big Bang. Most of The Bronze consists of overly-long, profanity-laden monologues delivered by Greggory at the expense of whatever foolish soul has stumbled across her path.

The movie contains glimpses of comedic brilliance — most notably an unforgettable sex scene that incorporates the pommel horse and other acrobatic acts — but The Bronze is ultimately a case of inconsistency, with maybe 30 minutes of good jokes stretched across two hours.

Grade: C+

*The Bronze opens nationwide on Friday, March 18.

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