It’s Friday so it is time for a Fresh review of a brand new movie in cinemas right now. The film of today is the new rom-com, THE BIG SICK. I managed to see it early at a preview screening so I could get this review out quickly because I sense it will be quite a hit; its been awhile for me seeing a rom-com at the cinema but this one is really, really great.
The story begins with our main character, a stand-up comedian played by Kumail Nanjiani (TV’s Silicon Valley) who gets heckled by a lady called Emily, played by Zoe Kazan. Directed by Michael Showalter (who wrote Wet Hot American Summer), it is based on the true story of Kumail’s life and the story features issues of trust, religion and commitment which really shine through because of the fact that they are based on real events. Holly Hunter (Batman v Superman, The Incredibles -as Elastigirl!) as Emily’s mother and Ray Romano (TV’s Everybody Loves Raymond, Manny the Mammoth in the Ice Age films!) as her father play wonderful supporting roles and bring a lot of emotional weight to the plot.
The writing is what really shines through here because the jokes are incredible. The showing I saw had the audience bawling with laughter. The issue of Kumail’s religion is a heavy focus of the film and how he views his beliefs is brilliantly handled but they really do go there with those jokes. No, seriously, they REALLY do go there and it is outstanding humour. Kumail’s performance lends perfectly to this with a dry deliver but also sincerity at times. You really feel for his character. He, along with the fantastic performance of his Pakistani family, deliver a lot of the big laughs. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano play fantastic parents of Emily too and, as I mentioned, they do provide more of the emotional drive for the film but they play their role in some hilarious moments of their own. The film was produced by Judd Apatow (Most 21st century comedies) and his guiding hand is clear here.
One note I do have of warning here and it concerns the plot in part, but I shall not spoil the details. A significant event happens quite early on in the film and the narrative takes a tonal shift from a rom-com to a drama. The moment itself is handled particularly well and for a long time after I feel it was still well handled. However, the film did lose me towards the end a little when I felt it had gone too dramatic. Regardless, the story is still beautifully told and I think the dramatic shift is meant to bring about certain feelings in you as an audience member.
Overall though, I was thoroughly surprised and taken aback at how brilliant and charming this movie was. It is one of the funniest films I have seen in awhile with fantastic writing and performances. They thoroughly explore some fascinating themes with great dramatic moments whilst maintaining enough humour, but perhaps straying a little too bleak at times. A great date movie. Get watching!