Based on true events, The Big Sick follows Kumail (played by himself) and his beginnings as a stand-up comic, heckled at one of his shows by the gorgeous Emily (Zoe Kazan).
After a one-night-stand, and despite their best efforts, the two begin to date. However, there’s a catch – Kumail is a Muslim, and his culture revolves around arranged marriages (“or, in my culture, just marriage”). Many of the nightly dinners at his parents’ house involve his mother inviting over a nice Pakistani woman who “just happens to be in town” and has “just dropped in.” Kumail is worried his parents will disown him if they find out he is dating a white girl, and decides to keep her a secret for now.
Emily, on the other hand, has told her parents everything about her boyfriend, and is excited for them to meet when she suddenly falls very ill. Cue a lot of long, awkward nights with Kumail and Emily’s parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) at the hospital waiting for answers on her condition.
The Big Sick is one of the most honest, wholesome comedies in a long time. Kumail’s life is laid out bare for the whole world to see, and his relationship with Emily is passionate and real. His struggles – both with his culture and with his occupation – are the driving force of the film, and it’s genuinely funny. The audience were in fits of laughter at more than one point.
A definite highlight was the parental combination of Holly Hunter and Ray Romano as Emily’s mum and dad. The two of them just clicked, and Hunter especially was a stand-out as someone who you might not necessarily expect to demonstrate great comic timing.
The Big Sick is a must-see for anyone on the hunt for a feel-good comedy with its roots in reality.
In cinemas: August 3, 2017
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter
Directed by: Michael Showalter