The Big Sick: Film Review

The Big Sick earned rave reviews when it premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January and it’s very easy to see why. It’s coming to Sundance London this weekend and I urge you to check it out.

Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani co-wrote this with his wife Emily Gordon and it is based on their story. Kumail plays Kumail (funnily enough) whereas Emily is played by the wonderful Zoe Kazan. They meet after his performance at a stand-up comedy night and their hookups become more regular until they are essentially a couple – but he hasn’t told his strict Muslim parents because they wouldn’t approve of his American girlfriend and want him to have an arranged marriage. This puts a spanner in the works, as does Emily falling into a coma.

The writing is on point – well-observed, funny as hell and littered with pop culture references. The early dating scenes are cute, convincing and witty and even when it becomes a tragic situation, it still manages to find the humour and not get too downbeat. Nanjiani and Kazan are sooo good in their respective roles. I’ve been a fan of Kazan for years but he is pretty new to me and I will pay attention to him in the future. However, they are both given a run for their money by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano who put in fantastic supporting turns as Emily’s parents and Adeel Akhtar as Kumail’s brother.

It didn’t make me laugh at every single turn, I didn’t find some of the backstage at the stand-up comedy place scenes all that funny (I seem to have an issue with Aidy Bryant), and it did begin to feel a little long so I was getting ready for Emily to wake up. Despite those minor things I enjoyed this refreshing romcom a lot and it was very heartwarming. The fact that it’s a true story makes it even more special. Definitely check it out.

Showing at Sundance London on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June 

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