The Big Sick - This Movie Sick Rocks
Dir: Michael Showalter
Starring Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano
Silicon Valley’s Nanjiani (essentially playing himself) and his wife Emily V. Gordon have written a movie about their romance – that of a Pakistani man and a white woman and the obstacles and cultural barriers (not to mention families) they had to deal with. So far, so sweet. Then she develops a mysterious illness and ends up in an induced coma. Cue the laughs? Well, yes. Produced by Judd Apatow, The Big Sick is a movie that moves from the stand up stage to the hospital bed, to the late night conversations of young couples and older parents, with both ease and aplomb, often extremely funny, and just as often sensitive and caring.
By virtue of her medically induced coma, the spritely Kazan takes a back seat for the second half of the movie, although she does leave Nanjiani in the more than capable hands of her on screen parents, a cuddly Romano, and Hunter, who is simply the best she has been in years, all maternal fear and balls-out vulnerable strength. The moment where she takes on a heckler in a comedy club is a joy to witness.
The Big Sick tackles some interesting territory and tackles it well – blending stand-up with the impact of potentially dying loved ones, taking the Muslim experience of life in America and ramming it firmly into the mainstream. It even manages a great 9/11 joke, which is not an easy task. It at times takes its time and maybe outstays its welcome just a touch (it is, after all, a Judd Apatow production – not a great time keeper), but it’s equally good at catching its viewer off guard. The Big Sick – yeah, it’s pretty sick.
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