“Is your bed made? Is your sweater on? Do you want ta? Like you know I do. Like you know I do ooo ooo oo ooo oo oooh.” I know myself and I would probably see any movie with Kumail Nanjiani and a Vampire Weekend song in the trailer, so I was thrilled at the buzz this movie was getting prior to release. Comedy is my favorite genre by in large, so whenever a RomCom is done right, I get giddy inside. Recent years have highlighted the pitfalls of the genre. They can be cheaply made, low risk cookie cutter pictures that studios churn out without putting much effort in. I don’t think anyone really got over the Friends with Benefits/No Strings Attached debacle of 2011. The good news is, The Big Sick manages to elevate the “romantic comedy” into a fresh take on indie romance without even the use of Michael Cera or Joseph Gordon Levitt. Nothing against either of them.
The core of the Big Sick is the true story of the relationship between Kumail and Emily (Zoe Kazan), who date, break up due to dating constrictions by Kumail’s family culture, and then Emily is rushed into the hospital and entered into a medically induced coma. This results in her parents (Ray Romano and Holly Hunter) coming into town, and interacting with their daughters ex-boyfriend whom they have never met.
A lot of great things can be said about this cast, but to me what stands out is the story structure. The pacing is perfect to me, especially considering that one of the main characters is in a coma for the better part of the movie. The jokes felt fresh and it managed to set a very realistic world. Kumail’s stand up comedian friends didn’t feel like clichés, they felt like the funniest people you knew from college. Emily’s parents weren’t just background characters to come in and worry about their daughter and being guiding forces in her and Kumails relationship, they had their own problems and feelings that they expressed in different ways. My personal favorite being Holly Hunter screaming at a heckler during a stand up set. Everything about this movie had heart without using cheap ploys to evoke emotion, and I definitely see this stacking up with some of the best romantic comedies of the past few years. 9.5/10