The Big Sick
A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows.
A good romantic comedy is hard to come by, a great one even less so. ‘The Big Sick’ is certainly approaching a great romantic comedy and it’s one of the most charming, funny and moving movies of 2017 year to date. Based on the true life courtship of writers Kumail Nanjiani (who also stars) and Emily V. Gordon, the film follows the budding relationship between their characters as they gradually fall in love, before a couple of major events threaten to derail things. When they first meet after a comedy show, Emily states she isn’t looking for a relationship, and Kumail knows his strict Pakistani background will prove a roadblock, but they can’t help their feelings and things start to take off and become more serious over time.
It has that great quality that can apply to the finest romantic comedies, whereby you find yourself really invested in the character’s relationship and rooting for it to succeed, and it really clicks through the witty script and the strong chemistry between Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan (who plays the Emily part). Nanjiani is an awkward, nervous character (as seen to most as Dinesh in ‘Silicon Valley’), and whilst on one hand he’s playing himself, he injects a lot of heart and pain into his performance, whilst Kazan is just the right level of quirky, and they bounce off one another superbly. The depiction of their relationship is relatable, filled with all the great small moments that strengthen their connection, and the playful attitude between the two is really affecting. The film does switch tack somewhat at the halfway point, but that only serves to strengthen its heart and provide more opportunities to be funny, and more opportunities to broaden its themes.
The standup segments are a little hit and miss, which I guess is kind of the point, but the film excels when it focuses on its characters, both main and supporting. I’ve talked about Nanjiani and Kazan, but we also have Ray Romano and Holly Hunter as Emily’s parents, and both of them do some fine work when playing off each other and Nanjiani. I thought ‘The Big Sick’ was a terrific romantic comedy, really funny with great performances and a huge amount of heart and charm, and I highly recommend it.
Directed By: Michael Showalter
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holy Hunter, Ray Romano, Adeel Akhtar, Anupam Kher, Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant, Matty Cardarople, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Kurt Braunohler