The Big Sick (REVIEW)
Going in to this movie with such rave reviews had my hopes up that this would be a film worth talking about, I didn't know what it was about, i assumed someone would fall ill and some comedy would happen because of the cast involved. I have to say that this film feels like it is trying to do too many things at once and the results left me feeling sort of out of it. I'm fine with having a lot to say in a film and the fact that this was written by and based very much on Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V Gordon own story that it would be something worth seeing.
Unfortunately for me a lot of it fell flat. Between Kumail's stand up career, bonding with Emily's parents, falling out with his own and his relationship with Emily it all felt like too much at once and there wasn't really enough time for me personally to connect to any of it. On the surface that seems like it would make for a great movie, there is a lot of personal and professional dynamics going on there but they speed through the love story so fast and Emily keeps Kumail at a bit of a distance that when they said they had been together for 5 months I didn't believe it. I get that not all relationships are love at first sight it was just weird to go from some courtship that gets sort of rejected to full on dating the next minute.
The parental aspect of the film was well done in that Kumail is stuck between hiding his girlfriend from his traditional "arranged marriage only" parents and Emily's parents he has been avoiding. He soon has to face both sides head on when Emily falls ill and Kumail tries to help her out resulting in more time with her parents who until her illness he had never met and explaining to his own parents he is dating a white girl and that he doesn't do the things a good Muslim boy should be doing. But also we see that Emily's parents aren't perfect and have their own problems they deal with. I applaud the effort to make a story with compelling characters and there is some good stuff there, it just gets completely undercut by the stand up plot that should have been excised from the whole film.
I love Kumail and Zoe Kazan in general and really the whole cast is excellent, The performances all around are grounded and the dialogue is equally impressive with it's tone and natural delivery. They even have Bo Burnham as a more cocky version of himself playing off of Aidy Bryant which was a pair I never thought I'd see together. There are some good laughs here and there throughout the movie but overall there wasn't anything memorable about the film. There is nothing wrong with the film other than I just didn't care about anyone, the emotional beats were there but I didn't feel them. Both Aziz Ansari's Master of None and Hasan Minaj's Homecoming King have crafted better stories of the Muslim experience and dating than what has been presented here.
However with a fantastic 97% and a 8.4/10 rating on Rotten Tomatoes I am clearly in the minority when it comes to how I feel about this movie so maybe you will have a better time with this than I did, but I wish I could have just watched Homecoming King again.