Action and Horror films will always be my favorite, but I have a soft spot for Romantic Comedies. For years I have written numerous ideas for movies and have started but never finished a handful of scripts. All of them have been coming of age, tough guy, and horror stories. The most repeated constructive criticism I get from friends/peers is that I should write comedies. They are probably right, and I have enough 'real life' stories to make a pretty funny (or desperately pathetic) Romantic Comedy!
When I first heard about THE BIG SICK all I knew was that it stared on of the the guys from that SILICON VALLEY show and was produced by Judd Apatow. It was only after the five times (my fault) that I saw the films trailer going to Alamo Drafthouse, that I knew what the film was about. I wanted to see the film immediately at first, but then backtracked into waiting to rent it or catch on some streaming service. It's a good thing I decided to watch it in the theater because I love THE BIG SICK!
THE BIG SICK is co-written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, and it's directed by Michael Showalter. The film is loosely based on the true story of how Kmuail and Emily met and fell in love. In a brilliant move, Kmuail stars in the movie as himself. I wish Emily was in the film as well, but I'm sure there was reason why? However, the actress that plays Emily in the film was great. Before the film started there was a pre-show that had a interview with Emily V. Gordon, and after watching the film I think Zoe Kazan was a bit of perfect casting.
Without giving away too many spoilers, Kmuail is a struggling comedian who meets Emily after one of his sets. They hook up and eventually become a couple. Things start to become pretty serious, but unlike Emily, Kmuail hasn't told his parents about his new girlfriend yet. The reason is because of arranged marriage in his culture. This sparks a huge argument between the two and they break up.
A week or two later Emily gets real sick and Kmuail is the only one available to make a life or death decision. Emily is put in a medical induced coma to help fight a rare lung infection. Her out-of-town parents show up and back handedly thank Kmuail for everything he has done. Still in love with her, Kmuail keeps visiting the hospital despite Emily's parents feelings. Eventually the three of them start getting along with one another, helping the worry that a loved one and daughter are in the hospital.
Going into the third act of the film is a big spoiler so I'll stop right here.
It's rare that a Romantic Comedy gets any Oscar attention but you can believe me when I tell you that this film should at least get three nominations: One for Best Original Screenplay, the other one for Best Supporting Actress Holly Hunter, and this one might be a long shot but Ray Romano for Best Supporting Actor!
THE BIG SICK is a comedy but there is some serious drama going on and all the actors in this film knock it out of the park!
There are two scenes in the film that are my favorite: After a terrible decision of Emily's parents seeing one of Kmuail's stand-up sets, the three go back to Emily's apartment and bond. It's really touching. The second one is during a pretty dramatic family decision in the ICU waiting room. Holly and Ray bring it in this scene/moment.
To be honest, I was shocked by how much I liked this film. The main reason I decided to see it was because the film was directed by Michael Showalter. I have been a fan of his since the skit show THE STATE. I'm not going to say that this movie could have been directed by anybody, but it feels like Showalter took a backseat on this thing and just let the script come to life. This is not a complaint but rather a complement. I'd be interested in listening to a director's commentary to see what touches he added to Kmuail's and Emily's love story!
I highly, highly recommend THE BIG SICK!