The Big Sick

"Excellent"

The Big Sick Review


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.

The ensemble cast is excellent, adding detail to the characters that continually catch the audience off-guard. Nanjiani and Kazan are hugely likeable at the centre, while the stand-out roles go to Hunter and Romano, who mix jagged comedy and wrenching emotion into every moment. And Kher and Sfiroff create wonderfully complex characters of their own. Thankfully, the script keeps everything centred on the people rather than the situations, even as scenes are tightly packed with witty gags, knowing observations and darker emotions. It's a razor-sharp film that resonates strongly. And it feels like a gift: a joyful movie in a season of bombastic blockbusters.

Watch the trailer for The Big Sick:



Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Production compaines: FilmNation Entertainment, Apatow Productions, Amazon Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Kumail Nanjiani, as Emily Gardner, as Beth Gardner, as Terry Gardner, as Naveed, as Azmat, Zenobia Shroff as Sharmeen, as CJ, Aidy Bryant as Mary, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Jesse, Kurt Braunohler as Chris, Shenaz Treasurywala as Fatima, as Andy Dodd, Vella Lovell as Khadija, Celeste Arias as Denise, as Dr. Cunningham, Shana Solomon as Nurse Bette, as Dr. Spellman, Lawrence Ballard as Dr. Lewin, Shunori Ramanathan as Sumera, Matthew Cardarople as Stu, Myra Lucretia Taylor as Nurse Judy, Jeremy Shamos as Bob Dalavan, Ed Herbstman as Sam Highsmith, Kuhoo Verma as Zubeida, Mitra Jouhari as Yazmin, Jeff Blumenkrantz as Dr. Wright, Holly Chou as Dr. Whelan, Alison Cimmet as Dr. Platt, Spencer House as Racist Heckler, Susham Bedi as Tina (Khadija's Mother), Rahul Bedi as Farhan (Khadija's Father), Myra Turley as Waiting Room Person 1, William Stephenson as Waiting Room Person 2, Marilyn Torres as Waiting Room Person 3, Kerry Flanagan as Waiting Room Person 4, as Waiting Room Person 5, Charles Gould as Waiting Room Person 6, Isabel Shill as Party Goer 1, Lauren Patten as Party Goer 2, Keilly McQuail as Party Goer 3, Zach Cherry as Party Goer 4, Jack Corrigan as Restaurant Boy (uncredited), Sophia Muller as Chrissy (uncredited)

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


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