It is, in short, one of the most charming comedies of the year. The script succeeds at tackling its themes—the immigrant experience, millennial dating habits in the digital age, how different cultures approach the institution of marriage—with tremendous specificity and without ever losing sight of the chemistry at the core.
Another strength is the film’s matter-of-fact treatment of South Asian customs. For Kumail, arranged marriage is just a fact of life, and the film takes the same attitude. Its message – that cultures are different but can coexist peacefully – is a welcome one in these riven times, and reinvigorates the tired romcom genre.
You’d still call it a decent rather than mould-breaking film, hamstrung by the cosiness that follows from knowing Emily will survive to claim her co-writer credit; the second hour, indeed, has so much narrative to resolve that it often forgets to be funny. Nevertheless, the sweetness radiating outwards from Nanjiani sustains it.