And here we have another case of me having a somewhat different idea of what a movie would be! This time I had thought I was going to watch a compassionate modern romantic comedy where one character is in a coma for a while, when really it’s a compassionate modern family dramedy (where one character is in a coma for a while).
The Big Sick is not near as funny as I expected it to be, but I don’t mean that as a demerit at all, because what it is is something I really enjoyed. More so as it went on, and I realized that this movie was dealing in a lot more story than I bargained for. It was at about a third of the way in, when Emily has been admitted to the hospital, that I began to really understand what this movie with doing with realism, startled tears standing in my eyes as I watched Kumail staring through the glass, stunned.
Speaking of Kumail, the real Kumail Nanjiani, bravo to that guy for co-writing and starring in a movie in which he’s not meant to be the funniest character. That’s Emily, followed closely by each of their families. I love this so much, because instead of falling into the pitfall so many other comedians do, Nanjiani proved what a good comedian he is by making a movie that’s funny, not a movie about a funny person. And another big bravo, and this one goes out to the real Emily Gordon too, for writing a script with such a wealth and variety of genuine, living breathing female characters, several of them Muslim Pakistani-American women.
It is incredible what wisdom and heart imbues a movie with a diverse cast who are all treated with insight and attention. The Big Sick feels like life, in a way that often eludes romantic comedies. (And I’m not just saying that because I have the same twin-size spare air mattress from Target that Kumail does. Although that did contribute to the vibe.)