The Big Sick is a rare romantic comedy that feels genuine and real in a way most movies based on true stories fail to be.
Director: Michael Showalter
Summary: A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows.
The romantic comedy is an easy genre to make, but it’s a very hard genre to do well. They are a dime a dozen and we see half a dozen of them a year. There are the few that sometimes do well enough but they are often forgettable. They come and go without anyone really noticing or caring. The genre continues to stagnate in a way such that even the smallest innovation is cause for praise. Even the more unique entries into this genre can be boring, but The Big Sick manages to avoid all of that. The true story of how comedian Kumail Nanjiani met his wife to be, and not long into their relationship she got sick and fell into a coma. It’s one of those real like scenarios that feels like something out of a movie which makes it all the better when you find out it’s true. Truth is often stranger than fiction and in this case the truth is that sometimes things go very wrong before they can go right.
The thing that makes The Big Sick so good is that it feels like a real story. There are plenty of movies based on true stories but the disconnect makes them feel like fiction still, or they move so far away from reality that they might as well be original stories. While there are some changes to the story behind this couple it never feels outside the realm of reason. The movie touches on cultural differences and the idea of doing what makes you happy compared to doing what makes those around you happy. It’s a story that almost everyone can relate to whether it’s dating someone your parents don’t approve of or pursuing a career that people think will go nowhere. There isn’t a young adult or older who can’t relate to something like that.
A comedy is always hard to review because talking about the jokes too much will spoil the movie, but rest assured that the script in The Big Sick isn’t just funny but also very clever in general. All of the actors do a great job of capturing how real people would react in these situations. Emily’s parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) are quick to anger and upset because they are afraid because their daughter is so suck. Kumail is in a situation he has no idea how to react to and, since he a comedian, sometimes jokes at the wrong time because he doesn’t know how to react. It’s a shame we don’t get to see a lot of Emily (Zoe Kazan)) but the story dictates that she’s in a coma for most of the movie. She’s funny and quirky but she never feels like a manic pixie dream girl.
The Big Sick is a romantic comedy for people who don’t usually like romantic comedies. It’s sweet, it’s sad, but it always feels real in a way that this genre rarely does. A fantastic entry into a genre that often seems like it isn’t even trying The Big Sick is one of the best movies of the year.
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