It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a strikingly original script that it grabs hold and never lets go. Based on the real-life story of actor-writer Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and his cowriter wife Emily Gordon, the movie is packed with engaging characters who each take their own journey through a series of unexpected events. In other words, it's a clever screenplay that's beautifully played and often very, very funny.
Playing an only slightly fictionalised version of himself, Kumail is a stand-up comic in Chicago when he meets Emily (Zoe Kazan), who heckles him at one of his gigs. Their banter quickly turns to flirtation and then love. But there's a hitch in the fact that Kumail's parents (Anupan Kher and Zenobia Sfiroff) expect him to marry a nice Pakistani Muslim girl, and he doesn't want to let them down. He's even reluctant to reveal Emily to his slightly more open-minded brother (Adeel Akhtar). This strains the burgeoning romance, which takes a turn when Emily is put into an induced coma in hospital. It also forces Kumail to get to know Emily's parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano), who turn up to sit with him as they wait for her condition to improve.
It's rare for a rom-com to take such a serious turn, and this film plays the situation with a proper sense of dramatic tension while maintaining an awkwardly edgy comical sensibility. All of this allows characters to come to vivid life, each with his or her own big issues that need to be dealt with as they interact with other people. The network of relationships reflect real life better than most movies, exploring Kumail's professional life and his camaraderie with his fellow comics as well as the layered family bonds and his developing connection with Emily and her parents. It's also a refreshingly realistic depiction of multi-cultural society.
Continue reading: The Big Sick Review
When Kumail and Emily meet, they're instantly drawn toward one another. Emily is a student and Kumail is an aspiring comedian who also works part time as an Uber driver to make money. After spending the night together, Emily awakes and decides to make an early exist only to ring an Uber and for Kumail to, obviously, be the nearest driver.
As the pair become more and more endeared to one another they spend more time together and things look like they could get more serious but for Kumail, things aren't quiet as straight forward boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love and marry. Being Muslim from a Pakistani background, Kumail's parents expect him to have an arranged marriage and as he grows older his mother becomes more and more obsessed with finding the right person to share his life with.
Kumail can no longer keep his new Beau secret and confides in his brother that he's been dating a white girl and his reaction isn't exactly as positive as he might've hoped. When Emily finds out about the plans for Kumail's arranged marriage, the pair have a talk and, even though in their heart of hearts neither want to, they break their relationship up.
Continue: The Big Sick Trailer
Sandra Bullock reminisces about how George Clooney once acted as her wing-man.
Sandra Bullock has revealed how George Clooney once acted as cupid and helped her find a boyfriend. On Monday (26th October), Bullock appeared at the L.A. premiere of her new film, Our Brand Is Crisis, when she detailed how Clooney once helped with her love life.
Sandra Bullock at the L.A. premiere of Our Brand Is Crisis, October 2015.
Continue reading: Sandra Bullock Reveals How George Clooney Once Acted As Her Wingman
Jane 'Calamity' Bodine makes the brave move to come out of retirement as a top political consultant, despite having been responsible for one of the most catastrophic campaigns in history. It's time to put the past behind her and learn from her mistakes, by tackling her latest cause; a presidential candidate in Bolivia is desperate to win the 2002 election, but currently remains unpopular with the people of the country who are suffering in the delicate political and economic state. It's Bodine's job, along with the rest of an American strategist team, to help boost his numbers, but unfortunately for her the opposition has selected an all too familiar team to help them led by Bodine's long-time rival Pat Candy. Determined to finally beat him in the political stakes, she has her team spy on the other candidate's campaign and exploits the struggles of the people to give her client an emotional advantage. However, Bodine's soon made to realise that her attitude towards the job is seriously affecting her compassion for the people who are genuinely suffering, and she can't stay detached for long.
Continue: Our Brand Is Crisis Trailer
Radcliffe is working his way through the genres.
After growing up on-screen in the Harry Potter movies from 2001 to 2011, Daniel Radcliffe became one of the richest actors in the world. But he also quickly set about making sure he wasn't locked into being the boy wizard for the rest of his career. His first emphatic move was to star in the 2007 West End production of Equus, in which he appeared on-stage fully naked.
He further broke from his family-friendly image by poking fun at himself on Ricky Gervais' TV series Extras, then moving on to the Aussie drama December Boys, the ghostly thriller The Woman in Black and the biographical gay drama Kill Your Darlings.
Continue reading: 'What If' Stretches Daniel Radcliffe's Range
With his first romantic-comedy, Daniel Radcliffe proves adept at delivering snappy dialogue and generating strong chemistry with his costars, so it's frustrating that the film is never remotely believable. Director Michael Dowse and writer Elan Mastai find some cleverly original angles on the genre, but never seem sure whether this is silly slapstick or darker black comedy. They also indulge in several appallingly corny plot points that would only happen like this if they were written by a screenwriter.
Radcliffe plays Wallace, a British guy living in Toronto. After a bad break-up he has dropped out of med school and let his life drift aimlessly, but now his best pal Allan (Adam Driver) is tired of his moping around. So he introduces Wallace to his cousin Chantry (Zoe Kazan), and the two hit it off. The problem is that Chantry has a lovely boyfriend, Ben (Rafe Spall), so just wants to be friends. Wallace is smitten but pretends that this is fine. And this causes a serious problem as they get to know each other over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, Allan has his own fast-moving relationship with Nicole (Mackenzie Davis), and he urges Wallace to make a move when Ben is transferred to Dublin for six months. The question is whether Chantry feels the same way about him.
Dowse has always been good at finding the sharper edges of humour in any scene (see Fubar or Goon), but this film has a squishy sentimental centre that threatens to undo it at every turn. There are also several goofy moments that strain credibility, such as when Wallace and Chantry are forced to share a sleeping bag naked. Meanwhile, the characters are so perky that they're somewhat exhausting. The actors seem to be trying desperately to make us like them in every scene, and sometimes this works simply because they are genuinely engaging. But the best moments are when Radcliffe hesitates awkwardly or explores the darker side of his longing, or when Kazan reveals the doubt behind her super-cute eyes.
Continue reading: What If Review
Daniel Radcliffe won't be teaming up with Emma Watson, either.
Daniel Radcliffe says playing Harry Potter in new movies is "not on the cards" though has spoken about how the boy wizard has influenced his own character. Radcliffe, who is currently starring in the indie romantic-comedy What If, says he and Harry share fiercely loyal sensibilities.
Daniel Radclife [L] and Zoe Kazan [R] in 'What If'
Appearing at Comic-Con, Radcliffe was asked whether there was a chance he could reprise his role as Potter, given JK Rowling's new projects in the world of Hogwarts. It was a straight and direct 'no' from the 27-year-old though he spoke in-depth about how the character was embedded in himself.
Continue reading: 'What If'?: Daniel Radcliffe Rules Out More Harry Potter
Wallace has just about giving up on finding love and relationships. He's dropped out of medical school and seems quite happy to spend all of his time at home, barely venturing out of the apartment he shares with his promiscuous roommate Allen. When he is persuaded to attend a party, however, he meets Chantry; a girl determined to be friends with Wallace. While Wallace is rather taken by her initially, he is disappointed that she has a boyfriend but willing to make their special friendship work. Everyone around them is sceptical about their platonic relationship despite their insistence that men and women can indeed be just friends. Though the more they try and insist they are not falling in love, the less convinced they are making themselves. Feeling confused and guilty, Wallace and Chantry must look deep within themselves to puzzle out the meaning of their chemistry.
'What If' was originally named ‘The F Word’ and is a rom-com based on the T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi play 'Toothpaste and Cigars'. It has been directed by Michael Dowse ('Goon', 'Take Me Home Tonight', 'It's All Gone Pete Tong') and written by Elan Mastai ('Alone in the Dark', 'Fury', 'Sk8 Life'), and it has already won two awards with a further four nominations.
Neil LaBute adapts his bracingly astute play into a series of scenes that make us question how men and women ever come together to make a relationship work. The central idea is that we hurt each other even when we don't mean to, and through a series of face-offs between a man and his ex-girlfriends, the film leaves us wondering what we might have done to our own partners along the way.
At the centre is a writer (Brody) in his 30s, who wants to clear away his relational baggage before he gets married. He flies first to Seattle to meet his school girlfriend Sam (Morrison). She's now married with kids, and he wants to talk about their break-up. "You ended it," she corrects him. And he finds his memories equally unreliable as he visits Tyler (Maestro) in Chicago, Lindsay (Watson) in Boston, Reggie (Kazan) back in Seattle again and Bobbi (Bell) in Los Angeles. While zig-zagging across America he begins to realise that he was always the problem.
As the scenes unfold, Brody's unnamed character reveals himself as weak, shallow and self-absorbed, but also relentlessly charming. it's a brave, transparent performance that takes on resonance as he begins to understand that he's flawed and, even worse, ordinary. Opposite him, the women are all variations on a fantasy: the good girl, the sex pot, the experienced older woman, the flirty little sister of his best friend, the brainy hottie. They're superbly well-played by these actresses; Watson's piercing honesty is the stand-out, while Kazan's role is the most haunting.
Continue reading: Some Girl(s) Review
A romantic comedy with a dark twist, this film gets under the skin as it knowingly explores both the writing process and the nature of relationships. It also gives its cast a lot to play with in scenes that feature both broad slapstick and much more serious drama.
Paul Dano stars as Calvin, a writer who struck lightning with his first novel at age 19 and hasn't been able to write anything since. His brother (Messina) teases him about his future, his agent (Mandvi) is pushing him to write a new novel, and his therapist (Gould) just wants him to write something, anything. So he starts typing up a story about the girl (Kazan) who appears in his dreams. Then there she is, Ruby Sparks, in his kitchen! Sure he's officially losing his mind, he's shocked to discover that others can see her too. So he brings her into his life as his girlfriend, even introducing her to his hippie mother and stepdad (Benning and Banderas).
The film starts out as a breezy comedy, and Dano plays these scenes for laughs, including several broadly silly set-pieces as Calvin first meets Ruby. But the undertone very quickly starts turning serious, as we begin to understand the central themes about how we relate to our partners. Would we control their behaviour if we could? Get rid of annoying habits? Make them be more like our idea of the perfect spouse? But of course, that would cause a whole new set of problems.
Continue reading: Ruby Sparks Review
Zoe Kazan Monday 31st January 2011 Opening night after party for the Second Stage Theatre production of 'Gruesome Playground Injuries' held at Dopo Teatro restaurant. New York City, USA
Date of birth
9th September, 1983
Returning with their first new song in five years, Placebo have just dropped ‘Beautiful James’ as the first taster of their forthcoming album.
Having just celebrated the release of his debut EP, 'The Life and Death of MacKenzie Kane', Portuguese singer-songwriter Zé Pedro Viveiros, aka Zed...
It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...
When Kumail and Emily meet, they're instantly drawn toward one another. Emily is a student...
You wouldn't call Kathy the best mother in the world. She's far from responsible when...
Bill has always stood by his brother Robbie, after all begin blind has often left...
Jane 'Calamity' Bodine makes the brave move to come out of retirement as a top...
With his first romantic-comedy, Daniel Radcliffe proves adept at delivering snappy dialogue and generating strong...
Wallace has just about giving up on finding love and relationships. He's dropped out of...
Neil LaBute adapts his bracingly astute play into a series of scenes that make us...
A romantic comedy with a dark twist, this film gets under the skin as it...
Ruby Sparks tells the story of a successful young novelist who starts to suffer from...
Ruby Sparks tells the story of a successful young novelist who starts to suffer from...
It's Sam's 'big day', today is the day he's set to meet with a publishing...
Watch the trailer for Me and Orson WellesSet in 1937 Me And Orson Welles centers...