The Big Sick is a beautiful, socially relevant comedy with lasting appeal.
“I thought I could just start saying something and something smart would come out…”
I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘movie lifespans’ lately, and how frequently I seem to forget films I once loved so much. Worse still are the ones that lose their charm with repeat viewings – like that kid you were friends with when you were 7 who grew up to be a homophobic, ‘Britain First’-supporting asshole who hates everything you stand for. Or, uh, something like that… Comedies tend to dominate this category, for fairly obvious reasons. Making a joke work once is hard enough. Recapturing that magic over and over again – without shock value on your side? Well that’s almost impossible.
To really endure, a comedy’s got to have something extra. A bit of dramatic weight usually works; I’m a sucker for a great romance angle; And right now nothing’s more crowd-pleasing than a big dose of social commentary. Try all three and you’ve got The Big Sick, an interracial love story turned heart-rending emotional struggle that tears apart social conventions and has a hell of a lot of fun while doing so. Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon’s semi-autobiographical tale manages to feel so powerful and personal while still taking the time to make you howl with laughter. There are no jarring shifts in tone, or overt juxtapositions between comedy & drama. It just seamlessly flows together, replicating the organic ups and downs of a relationship and all its often overwhelming external factors. Zoe Kazan is charming, Nanjiani sincere, Holly Hunter is a tour-de-force and Ray Romano is. just. so. fucking. funny. The performances complement the material, and the material is great. Stories like this are rare – and viewed from the perspective of a South Asian kid who’s been in an interracial relationship for three years (this week!!), they’re all the more affecting.
I’m going to be watching this one for years.
Pretty sure I got everything I wanted to say about this wonderful movie out up there so I’m just writing this bit to fill space. Good. Yes.