Kumail Nanjiani and wife Emily V. Gordon have written an amazing film that has some big laughs and tons of heart. The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter and produced by Judd Apatow, sets the bar pretty high for future rom-coms. The personal story that is shared by both Nanjiani and Gordon is touching, intense, and, often, hilarious.
The Big Sick is funny and charming
Kumail Nanjiani (he didn’t change his name for the script) is a stand-up comedian in Chicago trying to make it. He’s juggling being Pakistani and making his family happy as they parade potential wife after potential wife in front of him, but he meets Emily (Zoe Kazan). They begin a relationship that he knows can’t last because of his parents.
The premise is intriguing just from that point. However, Emily gets very sick and is put into a medically induced coma that really makes Kumail have to decide what really matters. It also puts him in direct contact with her parents, Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano). Despite having several scenes of Kumail performing stand-up with Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant, and Kurt Braunohler, the funniest scenes are Kumail’s interactions with the comatose ex-girlfriend’s parents. Romano gives what seems to be his best performance and gets both laughs and more dramatic dialogue.
Of course, the insight into his family life and the struggle he goes through to keep what matters to him is one of the strongest aspects of the film. It’s a perspective that isn’t seen in many Hollywood films and was refreshing. Kumail’s parents Azmat (Anupam Kher) and Sharmeen (Zenobia Shroff) and his brother Naveed (Adeel Akhtar) are intriguing characters. They have smaller roles in the film, but the relationship between the characters is prominent. It does allow for some awkward dinners where Sharmeen brings a potential wife for Kumail.
There is a lot of great stuff in this film, but it’s definitely better to see it for yourself. It’s still in the process of expanding so keep checking your local theaters for your chance. This very personal story is performed expertly and is definitely one to bring a date to. The Big Sick earns the Must See rating.