Director: Michael Showalter
Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter
Release Date: September 19, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9.5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, The Big Sick tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Kazan) after one of his stand-up sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Hunter and Romano) who he’s never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart.
Based on the true events revolving around the meeting and courtship of Kumail Nanjiani and his real life wife Emily V. Gordon, ‘The Big Sick’ joins Kumail who is currently trying to merely survive doing stand-up and driving for Uber when he randomly meets the peculiar Emily at one of his shows and quickly falls head over heels for her. As their relationship builds, the unavoidable culture clash threatens to ruin everything, but when Emily is admitted to the hospital suffering from an unknown disease Kumail refuses to abandon her regardless of what may have occurred prior. Even if doing so may mean having to also deal with plenty of awkwardness when Emily’s parents arrive and further complicate matters. As things continue to look darker, new friendships are formed and it soon becomes clear that things will never be the same once Kumail begins to understand that he’s truly in love with Emily.
Directed by the talented Michael Showalter (who previously helmed the phenomenal ‘Hello, My Name is Doris’) from a screenplay written by real life couple Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani whose true story the film is based upon, Showalter does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘The Big Sick’ guiding along this wonderful tale with passion and ease. The film also owes a good share of the credit to the talented folks that comprise the cast and really allow it work so perfectly, including Kumail Nanjia (TV’s Silicon Valley) portraying himself, along with Zoe Kazan (The Monster), Holly Hunter (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Ray Romano (TV’s Parenthood), Anupam Kher (TV’s Sense8) and more, nearly all delivering noteworthy performances in each of their respective roles.
‘The Big Sick’ is a tremendous film that’s constantly brimming with passion, heart and a healthy helping of laugh out loud moments, inviting viewers on a true, emotional journey that’s never afraid to tackle some important issues or leave you bursting with laughter at the most unexpected of times, and always focusing on and embracing the humanity and relationships within, while never hesitating to poke fun at them along the way either. There may be a few sequences within that can begin feeling a bit stretched, but even so a lot of those moments tend to serve some higher purpose or importance and it certainly never appears as if they’re merely attempting to fill time. As a whole it comes together beautifully to form a truly magnificent film that will have you laughing, smiling and just downright emotional as it takes you along on this tremendous and incredibly moving journey. ‘The Big Sick’ is passionately guided around every corridor by director Michael Showalter and further complimented by notable performances from a well selected cast that includes Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano and more. I would strongly urge anyone who enjoys a well done romantic comedy with a powerful story and cast that’s complimented by plenty of heart and laughs to make a point of giving ‘The Big Sick’ a whirl when you have the opportunity to do so, it’s easily one of the most moving and well made romantic comedies in recent memory and one you probably won’t want to dream of missing out on.
Overall, ‘The Big Sick’ is quite simply a fantastic film. Based on true events (and penned by the couple whose story it’s based on no less) it’s a moving, heartwarming and downright hilarious romantic comedy that isn’t afraid to abandon the tired formula of so many similar films, instead embracing the true events that served as its inspiration and culminating into one of the finest and most unique comedy films in recent memory. ‘The Big Sick’ effortlessly earns one of my highest recommendations, particularly for fans of Kumail Nanjiani’s work and that of director Michael Showalter, along with anyone that appreciates a heartfelt and remarkably well made romantic comedy with something new to offer. This is one hilarious, moving and incredibly enjoyable film that should have no trouble whatsoever proving itself well worth your time and the cost of a rental at the very least.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Big Sick’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and provides a fairly sharp, detailed and clean presentation from start to finish, that aside from a few moments that appear slightly duller than the rest looks fantastic and holds up quite smoothly even during the numerous darkly lit and heavily populated moments throughout. Overall, this is a pretty solid high definition video presentation that should have no trouble largely satisfying the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack offers a crisp, clean and somewhat active audio presentation throughout. It occasionally takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send crowd chatter and hospital background activity, along with a bit more throughout the various speakers when appropriate, and never conflicting with any dialogue or other simultaneously occurring auditory elements. Overall, this is a highly capable 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Big Sick’ includes some entertaining and funny extras. Included on the release is a ‘Cast & Filmmaker Audio Commentary’, in addition to a collection of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 10 minutes in length combined) along with some more extra footage via ‘The Big Sick: The Other Stuff’ (running approximately 4 minutes). We are also treated to some Featurettes and fun videos that include interviews/comments with the cast and a crew, behind the scenes footage, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘A Personal Journey: The Making of The Big Sick’ (approximately 15 minutes), ‘The Real Story’ (7 minutes), the ‘2017 SXSW Film Festival Panel’ (12 minute) and ‘The Bigger Sick: Stick Around for More Laughs’ (10 minutes).