Repeat Watch: The Big Sick
Since we’re covering all sorts of romantic movies for our Repeat Watch series during the month of February, it only seemed appropriate to choose one that had been recently released. The Big Sick is a romantic comedy from this past year based loosely on the real-life romance between comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon. It was directed by Michael Showalter and was written by Gordon and Nanjiani. The film starred Nanjiana as himself alongside Zoe Kazan as Emily. Some of the other supporting cast members for the project were Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, and Adeel Akhtar. The film has gone on to be one of the most financially successful independent films of 2017 and even garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
So, why is it a worthy contender for a repeat watch around Valentine’s Day?
1) An Unusual Premise
So, for those who haven’t already figured this out or haven’t heard Nanjiani’s story, the film revolves around a terrible experience with illness. With that said, it’s pretty incredible when a love story manages to be successful while one of its leads is unconscious. It certainly breaks the progression of most rom coms, and it manages to deliver a heartfelt story without most of the normal romantic story beats.
2) Different Dynamics
In addition to the whole unusual premise with the illness, we also just have interesting dynamics present all through this film. Kumail is a stand-up comedian, which gives an interesting and hilarious look into what can be a brutal industry. The story also delves into Kumail’s Pakistani background and the dynamics with his family. Also, the whole premise of having to spend time with your girlfriend’s southern parents without her is a fantastically hilarious dynamic.
3) Transcends the Genre
While a lot of movie critics tend to tire of the genre of “romantic comedy,” this movie breathes some new life into it. Beyond the love story between the leads, it dives into a lot of other themes and issues. The themes of family, faith, and culture are central to Kumail’s personal journey in the film, and it truly explores the dynamics of him and his Pakistani family. The looming possibility of death also adds another interesting layer to the story.
The Big Sick is definitely not appropriate for younger audiences with its language and sexual innuendo, but it is an endearing film. It contains plenty of laughs along the way, and the performance from Holly Hunter in particular will keep you laughing. Also, the fact that the backbones of the story is based on true events adds an additional element of authenticity to the film. It’s definitely worth a watch, and for anyone who has an Amazon Prime membership, it’s available to watch for free.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.