Two days ago I went to the movies to see The Big Sick. The movie had already been out for a billion years and already had incredible reviews but I will admit the thing that appealed to me in seeing it was the showtime was right after work. I watched the trailer and thought it was good. So I went to the movies. Sat down. Started watching the film. Got into it. Got really really really into it. And then? Then the POWER GOES OUT. Movie stops. Ushers say the power will come back on. Power doesn’t come back on. Usher comes back and kicks everyone out. Here I am one hour into what is possibly the best film I’ve seen all year and I don’t get to see the end!?!?!? I made a video about the experience which I’ll put at the bottom of this review.

The great thing was that when I got home I found out that the film had just been released on home video. So I did the only rationale thing. I bought the movie. I didn’t get to finish it on Tuesday, I had to wait until Wednesday. It was well worth the wait and I’m very happy that the film was great all the way through.

This movie had so many great things going for it. #1 is being directed by Michael Showalter who is a goddamn genius. The man is brilliant so you better show respect!!!

#2 is the story. Here’s the thing. The film is about a Pakistani man trying to be a comedian who meets a white grad student. Kumail really likes his family but, as they are Pakistani, they consistently try to hook him up with single Pakistani women. Dating a white woman is like…its like driving a knife through his mom’s heart. So we’ve seen this plot before. Jungle Fever. Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner. Fools Rush In (which was great because I love Salma Hayek). But this film ended up being different in so many way.

The film stars Kumail Nanjiani and this is actually his true story. He actually meets a gal named Emily (Zoe Kazan), they break up, and then she goes to the hospital and into a coma. I’m not sure how much of the film is actually truth and fiction but the very basics of the relationship (those beats I just mentioned) actually happened. So here is a romance movie that really has a kind heart, great leads, and a girl in a coma.

If I had to describe it to someone I would say it is a mixture of Aziz Ansari’s Master of None and Sandra Bullock’s While You Were Sleeping.  But it’s brilliant.  It is just a great film.  Truly the best I’ve seen in 2017 up to this point.

The flick is directed by Michael Showalter who is one hell of a writer, one hell of an actor, and…it seems…one hell of a director.  I’ve never seen some of the other films Showalter has directed like The Baxter and/or Hello My Name Is Doris but I have to rectify that straight away.  And just read that Showalter is from Princeton…so he is so, so, so super good in my book now.  Mike – next time you are in town we’ll get some Thomas Sweet on me.

The film is written by Nanjiani and real life wife Emily Gordon.  While I enjoyed the romance and how Kumail and movie Emily interacted, the movie really showed its heart once Emily lies in a coma.  Kumail tries to deal with his feelings.  Not just for Emily but for his entire life and how he lives it.  Emily’s parents (Ray Romano and Holly Hunter) don’t really like Kumail from the get-go.  It’s not because he is of Pakisani decent.  That doesn’t bother them.  What bothers them is how Kumail screwed up his relationship with their daughter.

But as Emily continues not to get better and Beth (Hunter) & Terry (Romano) finds themselves in Chicago long-term as they wait for their daughter to wake up – they develop a relationship with this young man.  Kumail starts to question everything about himself.  He questions his family and their values he doesn’t share – which includes both religion and arranged marriage.  He comes to grips with what he wants to do with his life and what is really important to him.  It shows how one person can affect you and make you grow as a person.  That person doesn’t even have to be awake.  Nanjiani goes through some life changing events just by being a part of someone else’s life changing event.

There is laughter here.  There is hurt.  There is pain.  There is awkwardness.  There is love.  There is standing up for what is right.  There’s acceptance.  And there’s definitely not giving up.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen something with this much heart and I’m not really sure what else I have to say about the film.  I can describe it over and over.  I can reveal all the plot.  I can say no more.  Which I’ll probably just do.  Look – if you are looking for a romantic comedy where you may laugh and cry and really feel alive then see The Big Sick.  Right now.  Right away.  It’s a damn fine film and I really hope it is recognized come award time.


Postscript:  I started The Big Sick in a movie theater until the power went out in the theater and we had to evacuate.  So I came home and put up half a movie review on Facebook…which is below…

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“Rare Grooves” by Shawn Lov (w/ Sadat X) from the album Future Left Behind used with permission.
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