Director: Michael Showalter
Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Adeel Akhtar, Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, Bo Burnham
Running Time: 120 mins
Release Date: 28/07/2017
As the review title suggests, this year’s sleeper summer hit is THE BIG SICK. Making waves across the US and now around the world, this beautifully written story about the real life relationship between comedian and actor Kumali Nanjiani and comedy producer Emily V. Gordon has some of the biggest laughs and some of the biggest heart from the cavalcade of films released this year so far. Likened to TRAINWRECK with Amy Schumer, but with less crude jokes and more racially sensitive bits, THE BIG SICK has a great ensemble cast that elevates this from a typical Netflix Original comedy that has a heart warming message to a cult fan favourite that’ll be watched by many generations to come. It takes a genre of “comedian-written” comedies about real-life moments and makes it feel genuine and sincere.
Based on the how Nanjiani and Gordon met and became married, it follows their flourishing relationship before Gordon is placed under a medically-induced coma after a rare infectious disease causes her to bed-ridden. Nanjiani, previously ending their relationship due to his Pakistani family’s beliefs in arranged marriages and his feeling of being stricken from the family, decides to stay with Gordon’s parents during her coma.
I find similarities in the likes of ME, EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, which again took a very serious subject and created real heart breaking moments of tenderness that’ll stay with you for a long time. Kumali Nanjiani plays a younger version of himself, being an UBER driver, whilst a stand up comedian working small clubs, trying to earn his way to fame, where he meets Zoe Kazan‘s portray of Emily, who heckles him at a show one night to quickly start their geeky and intelliectually fighting affection for each other. Kazan is again a stand out performance in a cast of many, creating a very likeable, dough-eyed woman who’ll melt many hearts whilst at the same time being genuine and obtainable.
With the likes of Holly Hunter and Ray Romano playing Emily’s parents who are there to look after her daughter during the coma, it’s their journeys as well that create some of the best moments in the film, with Nanjiani trying to connect to these strangers whilst being their for the girl whose heart he broke. Along with that, Nanjiani’s family are brilliantly played, capturing what a real Muslim Pakistani family is like without reverting to stereotypes.
Finally through the comedian’s best friends in Bo Burnham and Aidy Bryant and you’ve got solid performances all the way through that had me wiping my left eye a couple of times.