The Big Sick – film review

The Big Sick is a romantic comedy based on the real life of Pakistani-American stand-up comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani. The movie tells the story of how he meets and falls in love with his American girlfriend, Emily – hiding her existence scrupulously from his Pakistani family who expect him to marry a woman they’ve selected for him. But it turns out Emily is very seriously ill– and Kumail realizes with a pang of guilt that his feelings for Emily are serious…

The film is a sweet romantic comedy, which explores many of the racial and national tensions present in the US today. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments:  many of those sprouting from Kumail’s interactions with Emily’s parents as well as his own. One might hope that the defamiliarisation of the American customs as seen from a Pakistani perspective (the outrage felt when a son suggests he might marry an American girl) will give many a viewer food for thought. But then I suspect that a certain kind of viewer might eschew this sort of movie altogether.

Kumail plays himself and is, unsurprisingly very convincing at it. But my personal favourite was Emily (Zoe Kazan), who was a delightful balance of quirky and sweet. Her Mum (Holly Hunter) was also a favourite of mine.  Also, I really liked Zenobia Shroff as Kumail’s Mum. I suppose I was just biased in favour of the women…

There are not that many romantic comedies out these days – Quartz’s list of Top-Grossing movies of 2017 features none (although I suppose some might want to place Beauty and the Beast and Fifty Shades Darker in the genre, but one is too much of a children’s movie and the other is too much of an adult movie to qualify in my opinion) .

The Big Sick is definitely a romantic comedy and a very good one too. Enjoy!


Image credit: IMDB


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