By Kyle Osborne
Imagine a romantic comedy that is both romantic and, well, funny! From a genre that has disappointed so many of us starry-eyed hopefuls comes ‘The Big Sick’, a delightful, heartwarming comedy that has an incredible sense of tone and reality.
Yes, it is a terrible title, but that is literally the only weak link.
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon wrote the screenplay based on their own romance. Nanjiani plays himself and turns out to be a natural–he’s a struggling stand-up comedian, a Pakistani immigrant and an Uber driver, among other things. He meets Emily (quirky, appealing Zoe Kazan) in a club where he’s performing and the two have instant chemistry.
Like so many children of immigrants, Kumail is expected to let his parents, who live nearby, choose a bride, or at least some good candidates for him. Dating a white girl is about as taboo as one can get, so he keeps his growing feelings for Emily secret from them.
When she finds out that he hasn’t told his folks, she breaks up with him.
And here’s the part that is given away in the trailer (and that awful title) and not by me: Emily falls into a coma (okay, induced coma, but still), just as Kumail has decided that he wants to be with her, consequences be damned. Jeez–that sounds so melodramatic they way I’ve just written it, but trust me-it feels like it really could happen, and, of course, it really did.
Emily’s parents come to town to set up vigil in the hospital, and here is the other heart of the story, as Kumail and would-be in-laws get to know each other. Ray Romano and Holly Hunter play the parents and Romano, in particular, gives his best performance onscreen–expertly blending parental panic and a true comedian’s line delivery of the funny stuff.
If you’re new to my site–here’s the thing: I really, really, really hate to give away too many plot points. I’ll never give away more than is in the trailer..and even then…
What I can say is that I was so touched in the moving parts and tickled during the funny ones, that I wasn’t surprised to learn that Judd Apatow was the producer. Two of the year’s best films have both opened during a random week in June ( see my review of Baby Driver 3.5 out of 4 Stars) Who’d have guessed?
3.5 out of 4 Stars Rated “R”
Note: This film is being gradually rolled out to additional markets. To see when it’s coming to your town, check here: http://www.thebigsickmovie.com/