THE BIG SICK movie review – “I wonder who that could be?”

Emily (Zoe Kazan) and Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) get comfy in The Big Sick. Image via Studio Canal UK | The Big Sick movie review |

I’m firmly in the camp of horror and thriller as my go-to for movies to watch; but I’m always interested to check out a decent comedy, one that will make me laugh but also lift me up and make me feel fuzzy and good about myself, my situation and the ones I love. The Big Sick is a romantic comedy which delivers just what I’m after but also has a double life as an emotional drama, where characters are forced to overcome themselves as much as their situations, in order to find happiness.

Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) and Emily (Zoe Kazan) get to know each other in The Big Sick. Image via | The Big Sick movie review |
Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) and Emily (Zoe Kazan) get to know each other in The Big Sick. Image via

The Big Sick draws us in with the promise of a look inside a real life relationship; as the script is written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon about their own dating history. What feels like a saucy fly on the wall perspective as Kumail woos Emily with Vincent Price movies on his blow up mattress; rapidly develops into a gripping and emotional journey as we spend our time in hospital waiting rooms; and we’re concerned for how not just Kumail and Emily, but all the characters will respond to the new life, that the changes we witness, will bring.

But, hold up! The Big Sick is funny, man! A large source of that joy and laughter comes from Nanjiani poking fun at, but also celebrating his Pakistani heritage; giving the viewer the inside view of life growing up in America, a man apart. There’s also literal laughs with Kumail showing us the everyday life of a comic and his friends, trying for their big breaks. Then, there’s Kumail’s family dinners that serve to show us the day-to-day behind Kumail’s culture, but wind up displaying that these are just like our OWN family dinners. Family embarrassment is one of those universal sames that we can all identify with and the concepts of family traditions, secrets and expectations are themes that come through consistently in The Big Sick; whether it’s with Kumail’s family or Kumail interacting with Emily’s parents – Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano). More humour is squeezed from that awkward “meeting the parents for the first time” scenario in The Big Sick, in the freshest way possible however; as Beth and Terry gradually accept, understand and then rely on Kumail, as their collective care for Emily warms our hearts too.

Beth (Holly Hunter), Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) and Terry (Ray Romano) spend plenty of time in Hospital waiting rooms together. Image via The Atlantic | The Big Sick movie review |
Beth (Holly Hunter), Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) and Terry (Ray Romano) spend plenty of time in Hospital waiting rooms together in The Big Sick. Image via The Atlantic.

Dinesh Chugtai meets and falls in love with Ruby Sparks, when she falls ill and he is called to come and take care of her; he then meets her parents, Elastigirl and Manny.

Starring of course: Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks), Holly Hunter (The Incredibles) and Ray Romano (Ice Age movies).

The Big Sick puts its heart in the right place – front and centre; and why The Big Sick works is because you’re given the completely unvarnished truth about Kumail and Emily’s relationship. You’re given the delightful warm and fuzzy initial first flushes of love, right through to those gut wrenching betrayals, arguments and secrets. What keeps you watching are the honest and funny performances of the cast, fleshing out the strange moments that occur in hospitals and ‘other people’s lounge rooms’, when you’re waiting in the wings to see if someone is going to be OK. It’s a more raw camaraderie you experience and as an audience member, you’re certainly not immune to the charms of wanting to be part of this group.

I know it might not sound like it but The Big Sick is a fantastic pick for a date night movie, no matter what stage of your relationship you’re in because trust me, this movie covers it all.

Do you have a go-to rom com movie that you love to watch? Tell me what it is in the comments…

One Take Kate

Feature Image via Studio Canal UK



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