Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Big Sick

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!   The big sick is what you're going to get after the big chill.



The Big Sick – 5 out of 5

I really enjoy Kumail Nanjiani.  I think the guy is funny in everything he is in.  Whether it’s his role in Silicon Valley or the small roles where he shows up for a short period of time in various comedies, the guy can deliver and he is very memorable.  Hell, he was one of the only funny parts about Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, in my opinion.  When I heard that he and his wife; Emily V. Gordon, had co-written a movie about how they met and how their relationship evolved, I was instantly sold on the idea and wanted to see it.  Even after it was produced, sold to a distributor, and was ready to get its theatrical release I was ready to watch it and I didn’t even bother to watch a trailer.  I’m just such a fan of the guy that I didn’t need anything beyond the concept and his involvement to sell me on The Big Sick.

                                                                                           Amazon Studios/Lionsgate
She's a cute, bubbly girl and he's an Uber driver...what a cliche!

Chicago stand-up comedian Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani) is just going through his life trying to make it in the world of comedy while his parents try to get him into an arranged marriage, per their culture and against what he wants.  One day, while performing at a show, he meets Emily (Zoe Kazan) and the two hit it off and find themselves falling for one another.  However, after Kumail refuses to come clean about his parents arranged marriage setups and the fact he hasn’t told them about her, Emily leaves.  Soon after, she finds herself in a coma and Kumail stumbles his way in to be with her every day and, along the way, forms a bond with her parents; Beth (Holly Hunter) and Terry (Ray Romano).

                                                                                           Amazon Studios/Lionsgate
I'll just take a second here to state that Hunter and Romano were divine
in this film.

Romcoms can be kinda…dumb.  I don’t begrudge anyone who enjoys them but when you look at them through a fine enough lens, they all look very silly.  This is totally true of all genres of films but the romantic comedy never really showcases love or relationships in any real sense.  They are to love as what porn is to sex.  Sometimes, a film comes a long that shows love and the hardships of a relationship in a very realistic light (usually this comes in the form of an indie film) and that’s one of the things The Big Sick does better than a majority of the other films in this genre.  The entire film feels like you are watching a real couple, a real family, and, most of all, real people dealing with the hardships and the ups and downs of love and what it can do to two people when one is lying and one is dying.  (Yes, that rhyme was intentional and I will gladly sell it so it ends up on the Blu-Ray packaging.)

                                                                                           Amazon Studios/Lionsgate
Also put on the packaging, "I liked his sweater."

                                                                Amazon Studios/Lionsgate
This film is so sweet that I gushed just watching them
grocery shop together.
What made this film so captivating is how real everything about it felt.  Granted, this film is essentially an adaptation of the real life events that Nanjiani and Gordon went through but what transpired across the screen never felt emphasized or enhanced, it just felt genuine.  Add in realistic dialogue, natural chemistry between the entire cast and down-to-earth acting and it made for a feature that felt warm and inviting as well as charming, dramatic, emotional, and fun.  I will admit there were some times that had trouble nailing the grounded feel of it, however.  For example, as much as I love Nanjiani, there were times were he couldn’t quite narrow down the performance during some minor dramatic scenes (but these moments were very rare) and there were times that the interactions between the comedians felt too “Judd Apatow-ish.”  They didn’t feel like real comedians cracking wise at each other but, instead, were just doing the never ending insult gags that is basically 50% of all Apatow’s films (which kinda makes sense since he had a hand in this).  Ultimately, however, these drawbacks were incredibly minor and didn’t really destroy the entertainment value or take me out of the flow of the story or heart of it.

                                                                                           Amazon Studios/Lionsgate
There were a lot of very amusing moments with Anupam Kher and
Zenobia Shroff as Kumail's parents.  This film presents parents quite
excellently.

There really are no drawbacks to The Big Sick.  The cast is fantastic and really creates charming and interesting characters, the story is fantastic as it develops these two main characters and we watch as conflict exists between their personalities and cultures, and the film is capable of being both heart-warmingly dramatic, and emotional and charmingly funny.  Never does the plot slow down or drag as we watch Kumail and Emily’s parents deal with the situation they find themselves in and everything builds at such a great pace.  Then, when the final moments of the film arrive, you are treated to an absolutely beautiful and genuinely sweet ending that would make the most mainstream romantic comedies kick a nearby stone at their feet out of jealousy.  Nanjiani and Gordon adapted their story so well and director Michael Showalter presented it absolutely perfectly.  Overall, this movie is as close to perfection as a romcom can get.

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