The Big Sick is perhaps the perfect summation of what one would consider to be a “quirky, indie heartwarming comedy”, and it’s genuinely surprising that the film is as good at it is. While the film goes through an unimaginable series of cliches, there’s a heart to the film that works beautifully; taking everything else aside, the most important aspect of a romantic film is the chemistry between the leads, and the performances by Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan are funny, charming, and realistic.
The Big Sick follows a tumultuous relationship between Emily (Kazan), a young American psychologist, and Kumail (Nanjiani), an aspiring standup from Pakistan, who’s relationship is tested when Emily suffers from a potentially fatal disease. It’s not the story, but the dialogue that makes the film work so well; it’s an awkward, uncomfortably real film, and the film’s depiction of cultural differences and family drama feel real.
While there’s not a ton of “laugh out loud” moments in the film, there doesn’t neccessarily have to be; it’s the chemistry of the actors, and Nanjiani’s strength as a lead that make the film so charming. While the film’s two hours are a drag at point, specifically the last act’s repetitive emotional beats, there are moments that are genuinely moving. I can’t say if there’s a longevity to the film, or if it will necessarily work for everyone, but I also can’t deny that the impact the film left on me. Grade: B+