Film Review: The BIG Sick

July 18, 2017

     Image Credit: Amazon studios

Before Kumail Nanjiani was the successful comedian he is today, he got married and fell in love. The catch that is, his girlfriend (at the time) was put into a medically induced coma and he had to sign as her “husband” when he was pushed into a corner by medical professionals. That is, in a nutshell, the premise to the wonderfully hilarious, and sweetly natured romantic comedy “The Big Sick.” Which follows Nanjiani playing himself, as a working stand up comic and uber driver in Chicago, where he meets Emily (Zoe Kazan) and their true love story blossoms. Oh and she get’s put in a coma.

 

Since Nanjiani is from Pakistan, arranged marriage is very much a part of his culture, so the idea of him dating a white girl wouldn’t go over well with his folks. In fact, every time he is home for dinner, it seems his mom always has a woman lined up for him (and Nanjiani always has a joke to go with each one). It’s interesting to see how this culture lives and producer Judd Apatow knows where to play the comedy and Nanjiani (who co-wrote the script) knows how as well. Because of this, “The Big Sick” feels as authentic as it’s main stars, not shying too far away from the details of how a relationship like this works. It’s the perfect combination of writing and direction mixed with actual problems. This is a deeply funny movie, but it tackles serious subjects.

 

Ray Romano and Holly Hunter turn in exceptional performances as Emily’s parents midway through, while dealing with the trauma of her daughter's condition. Romano, in his slum down, soft spoken, thinks-he-is-funny-but-he-is-not, type dad role is spot on, and Hunter nails the frazzled mother who just wants the best for her little girl. And then of course, Nanjiani and Kazan have a chemistry that only makes romantic comedies that much better. It’s the kind of spark which makes you so invested in the film, you can only smile when it’s finally over.  

 

This isn't a summer movie about big explosions, huge set pieces, or superheros. Instead, it’s a sizable down to earth rom-com that feels like a breath of fresh air. You need to see this movie and then tell your friends to do the same. A

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