Movie Review: The Big Sick (2017)

TitleThe Big Sick
Release Date: June 23, 2017
Director: Michael Showalter
Production Company: FilmNation Entertainment

Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), a stand-up comedian in Chicago, meets Emily (Zoe Kalzan), a graduate student studying psychology. The date for a few months, but there’s clearly something off in their chemistry, and after a fight about Kumail’s inability to commit to their relationship due to the cultural expectations of his Pakistani family, they break up.  When Emily goes to the hospital with a mysterious infection, Kumail is the only one available to stay with her in the emergency room, and ends up having to sign the papers to put her in a medically-induced coma when the hospital is unable to understand what is wrong with her.

Emily’s parents arrive, and Kumail, reconsidering his relationship with Emily, decides to stay with them.  Oddly enough, Kumail has better chemistry with Terry (Ray Romano) and Beth (Holly Hunter) than he ever had with Emily, and the three form a bond over the several weeks that Emily is in a coma.  There is a significant amount of awkwardness, but also laugh out loud comic moments, and some darker parts as Emily comes close to death.

Although the story is hard to believe and takes some romantic comedy conventions to the extreme, it is based on a true story.  There’s a lot of charm and humor in this movie, and for the first time in 30 years, Holly Hunter has not completely annoyed me, in fact I kind of like her here.

Rating: ***1/2