Film Review – The Big Sick

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I’ve been pondering something for a while. And it’s likely going to become a blog of its own at some point. Essentially its this – I think the ‘Rom-Com’ is due a come back. Thats not to say that they aren’t out there now, but just we’ve moved from the ‘Nora Ephron era of the late 1980’s – early 90’s which was somewhat of a heyday for the genre.

However, in the meantime, we now turn to the Judd Apatow produced 2017 The Big Sick – a film based on the real-life ‘courtship’ between muslim comedian Kumail (played the actual Kumail Nanjiani) and student therapist Emily.

Directing is the relative newcomer to feature film direction – Michael Showalter – whose direction career has been more TV than film, but whose most notable work (in terms of film direction) was the 2015 ‘Hello, My Name is Doris‘.

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The film is written by the actual Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani and the role of Emily is played by Zoe Kazan (Our Brand is Crisis, My Blind Brother, The Monster).

Set in Chicago, Kumail is a struggling comedian and part time Uber driver, attempting to break into the work of comedy along with a number of other comedians working in a local comedy club. One evening he meets Zoe, the trainee therapist, and they being a relationship.

Unfortunately though, Zoe falls seriously ill and the film begins to play out with a form of modern take on the 1995 While You Were Sleeping with Kumail establishing relationships with Zoe’s family whilst she remains.

This all plays out with the backdrop of Kumail’s mother’s near relentless attempts to arrange a marriage for him, with regular family dinners seeing surprise arrivals of eligible women.

In terms of Zoe’s family, her mother and father are played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. It’s a rare film appearance for Romano (other than voicing Manny in the Ice Age series) and it’s enjoyable to see him in the role.

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Overall, it’s a charming romantic comedy and has some good laughs in it, with more heart than some of the recent offers in the genre.

7/10

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