Michael Showalter directs The Big Sick, which is written by married couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. The film follows the dramatisation of their courtship and the beginning of their relationship, in which Kumail’s family wish for him to marry a Pakistani woman whilst he struggles with a relationship with Emily, who has been put in a medically induced coma due to a mysterious life-threatening illness.
The film, off the bat, is fantastically hilarious. The script is laugh-out-loud funny, and balances tenderness and poignant tonal shifts in the last act perfectly. The Big Sick succeeds easily in being miles more hilarious than many straight comedies are these days. Kumail’s dynamic with Emily’s parents as she is in the hospital provides warm and palpable hilarity that somehow aids the emotion of the climactic act.
Nanjiani and Kazan (who plays Emily) have amazing chemistry. Their performances in this film are adorable, authentic and sensitive. Nanjiani has already established himself in the world of comedy, but this film proves his brilliant capabilities as a drama actor. Kazan returns in a role that she is thoroughly used to, but effortlessly makes this character compelling and authentic.
One of the best things about this film is how real it feels. More often than not, romantic comedies suffer through ancient clichés and formulas that are regurgitated on-screen again and again that always include ridiculous and completely unrealistic storytelling. The Big Sick is obviously a dramatisation of the real-life story of Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon for screen, however the film consistently feels thoroughly authentic. Each character is complex, loveable and realistic. While the story is certainly unconventional, there is never a moment in which it feels far-fetched.
The Big Sick is easily one of the greatest romantic comedies of the 2010s and quite possibly the best of the year.
The Big Sick result: A*