I’ve seen THE BIG SICK twice now, and both times it got me at exactly the same moments. These weren’t particularly emotionally manipulative or maudlin scenes, but the weight of emotion that had built up over the two hours of this true story just overcomes you. My first viewing was on a plane, and the edited, toothless version of this film is not the way to see it. If you watch as intended it’s razor-sharp, bittersweet and refreshingly unconventional in its key relationship dynamics. It’s Kumail Nanjiani’s story as told and acted out by Kumail Nanjiani, a potentially self-indulgent move. Nanjiani strikes the right balance though, keeping it honest (he doesn’t always come out of things well) and connected to what matters to him (falling in love with doing comedy as a living, his difficult relationship with religion and family expectations). Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan manage to be a compelling couple despite their relationship being (tragically, necessarily) one-sided, so Holly Hunter and Ray Romano bear a lot of the emotional weight as Emily’s distraught parents. It’s something special indeed. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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