The Big Sick (2017)

Cast includes: Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks), Holly Hunter (The Piano), Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond)
Writers: Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani
Director: Michael Showalter (Hello, My Name is Doris)
Genre: Comedy | Romance | Biography (120 minutes)

Huffington Post

Besides driving for Uber, Kumail does stand up, using his native Pakistan as a source of humor… “Other than our obsession with cricket, praying 5 times a day and our custom of arranged marriages, Pakistan and America are exactly the same.” He gets an enthusiast “Woo Hoo” from a cute blond in the audience. Afterward, he tells her she really shouldn’t heckle a comedian. “I woo hooed you!” says Emily. Heckling 101 morphs into the comedian and heckler going back to his place, sharing sex and high school trivia… his dweeb photo and her “most noticeable” Goth thing. “Oh, wait. You can’t leave… we only had sex once!” “I’m not that kind of girl. I only have sex once on the first date,” says Emily, calling Uber. Surprise, surprise… he gets the alert. “Your Uber driver will be ready as soon as he puts on his pants.” It’s probably a one-night fling because she’s studying for her masters, and he has the 2-day rule… don’t ask!

Dinner at his parents’ goes the same as usual… a critique of his style (no beard)… encouragement to take the LSAT so he can go to law school… update on the cousin who married the Irish girl and has been drummed out of the family… a prayer break before ice cream (during which Kumail plays video games in the basement)… and “Oh, I wonder who that could be?” As always, it’s a young woman and her mother, “just passing through the neighborhood.” After another attempt at making an arranged marriage, Kumail’s mother is exasperated. “There’s not going to be a magic spark. You have to work at it.” But Kumail laughs it off. “Always with the comedy!” Anyway, Emily still has Kumail’s number and gives him a call. They have great chemistry and love is in bloom. “A white girl!” Kumail’s brother exclaims. “You have to break up with her immediately.” Kumail has no such plan, but when Emily talks about meeting parents, everything goes off the rails. A phone call from a friend leads to an awkward reunion… Emily’s in the hospital with the flu and needs someone to help out.

The flu turns out to be a really bad infection, leading to an induced coma… and Kumail has to call her parents. They know all about the break up and are none too happy to find him when they get to the hospital. “We’re going to handle things from here.” But Kumail hangs out anyway… for a whole week. The Big Sick is a very unusual romantic comedy because most of the film is about the budding relationship between Kumail and Emily’s parents. Looming in the background is the bad break up… “You’re such a liar!”… and Kumail’s family, who will never ever accept a non-Pakistani girl as their son’s love interest. Based on actual events, the script was written by the now-married couple… Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, who also plays himself in the movie. It’s a charming, sweet comedy that’s more heartwarming irony than ha-ha jokes. Kumail has a very unusual sense of humor… he just can’t help himself… but it’s not always clear whether he’s joking. “Emily’s coma is the good kind of coma. You know how there are good carbs and bad carbs? An induced coma is definitely the good kind.” The Big Sick is a delight from beginning to end.

popcorn rating

4 popped kernels

Pakistani comedian spends a week at the hospital with the parents of his ex-girlfriend, while she’s in a coma

Popcorn Profile

Rated: R (Language, Sexual Content)
Audience: Young Adults
Gender Style: Neutral
Distribution: Mainstream Wide Release o
Mood: Upbeat
Tempo: Cruises Comfortably
Visual Style: Unvarnished Realism
Nutshell: Culture clash romance
Language: True to life
Social Significance: Pure Entertainment

Comments welcome

Join our email list

©2018, Leslie Sisman | Design, website and content by Leslie Sisman