There has been a stench of comedies lately in 2017. Because there hasn’t been anything that was gut-busting funny as it’s sometimes been dealt with lame humor that leaves me angry. That can also be said with some romantic movies as they don’t make some people fall in love. With The Big Sick being a smaller movie that’s coming out in the middle of all the big summer blockbusters, it’s perfect for an original romantic comedy like this to come out.
The Story: Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) is a Pakistani comic who meets an American graduate student named Emily (Zoe Kazan) at one of his stand-up shows. As their relationship blossoms, he soon becomes worried about what his traditional Muslim parents will think of her. When Emily suddenly comes down with an illness that leaves her in a coma, Kumail finds himself developing a bond with her deeply concerned mother and father.
This is based on a true story that’s about the real relationship between Nanjiani and his real-life wife Emily V. Gordon. Both of them wrote the screenplay and it could’ve come off as formulaic and given a story that won’t feel relatable at all. So with no idea how that was going to play out, The Big Sick comes off as one of the best films of the year that’s also a solid date movie.
I’m a big fan of director Michael Showalter (Hello, My Name Is Doris). He’s a funny comedian coming from the underrated MTV series The State and Wet Hot American Summer. But I didn’t know how he was going to balance the comedy and drama. But it has a great consistent tone throughout that doesn’t feel heavy at any point making it feel like a Judd Apatow (he co-produced the film) movie. So great job on his part as he kept a good pace throughout without being dull.
The script by Nanjiani and Gordon is one of my favorite screenplays by far this year. A lot of times it felt like I was watching something happening in real life. This does a great job at its character development, comedy, and it didn’t seem to take itself seriously. It’s their story being told on screen in a way that could’ve feel off-putting. But it feels passionate to them for showing an audience that could have a special connection to someone else.
Nanjiani’s performance as himself is spot-on. He had me caring deeply about him throughout while also having me constantly laughs with the material he’s given to himself. Because of him, this makes me wanna watch his stand-ups or Silicon Valley. The chemistry between him and Kazan is so natural and real as it felt like they are dating in real life.
Besides Nanjiani, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano were outstanding as Emily’s parent who has marital issues. Both have a perfect relationship with each other while interacting with Kumail. Hunter gives one of the best performances she’s given since Thirteen, and even though she won an Oscar, I think she’s underrated. And Romano gives the best role he’s given in years. The chemistry between them is real with Nanjiani as most scenes involve them hanging out with each other.
This is also interesting to see how different cultures come to play here. His parents want him to become a doctor and have an arranged marriage to a Pakistani girl. But it doesn’t have its benefits as he doesn’t want to be engaged that his mother wants to be with. He also doesn’t know what he believes in as he just wants to live a normal American life. That’s something was understandable for people who have that kind of lifestyle. Paths go along in different directions, and you never know what can lead you into your future with the people you love and not disappoint them in that reality.
But this is a funny movie also. The jokes that are incorporated into the story are hilarious that could make or break a certain scene but it works normally. There are two instances that I’m gonna remember because of how well it’s written.
My only issue with the film was that the third act did drag a little. And that’s pretty much it.
It’s still early but this should be in talks for the Oscars as I can see Holly Hunter getting a Best Supporting Actress nod and Best Original Screenplay.
In the end, all of the performances were fantastic, the script is brilliant, and it doesn’t fall flat with a story that doesn’t feel overdramatic as it’s enjoyable and feels real at times. Such a great time watching this. Probably the best romantic comedy I’ve seen since Trainwreck or Silver Linings Playbook.
The Big Sick is sweet, heartfelt, and hilarious while dealing with clashing cultures to make this rom-com different from the rest.