Tony's Take


An Awkward Love Story

Based on the real-life relationship of Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily Gordon, “The Big Sick” follows a young Kumail in Chicago as he attempts to follow his dream of being a stand-up comedian.  After meeting Emily at a show, the two begin to form a relationship amid their cultural differences.  At the same time, Kumail’s family keeps-trying to find a woman for him to suit their culture’s arranged marriage.  Failing to divulge this to Emily, she eventually discovers and ends things before they can be cleared-up.  A few weeks later, Kumail receives a call that Emily is in the hospital and he goes to stay with her since no one else could.  He waits until her parents arrive, but instead of leaving, he decides to stay, much to the dismay of Emily’s parents.  The rest of the film follows Kumail’s relationship with Emily’s parents while she is in the hospital and his relationship with Emily once she wakes-up.

Kumail Nanjiani stars as himself, a hopeful comic who finds himself trying to run-away from his Pakistani culture.  Zoe Kazan stars as Kumail’s girlfriend (now wife), Emily Gardner.  Holly Hunter plays Emily’s strong-willed mother, Beth.  Ray Romano plays Emily’s father, Terry.  Anupam Kher plays Kumail’s father, Azmat.  Zenobia Shroff plays Kumail’s mother, Sharmeen.  Adeel Akhtar plays Kumail’s brother, Naveed.  Bo Burnham and Aidy Bryant play Kumail’s fellow comedian-friends, CJ and Mary.  Kurt Braunohler plays a fellow comedian and Kumail’s roommate, Chris.  Jeremy Shamos plays a famous comedic talent scout, Bob Dalavan.  David Alan Grier plays the owner of the comedy club, Andy Dodd.

“The Big Sick” is a fresh, hilarious, and heartbreaking comedy; exactly what the genre has been in dire need of!  Kumail proves that his days of bit-part roles is over, as he expertly delivers joke-after-joke with superb timing and delivery.  He also shares great chemistry with the woman who plays his wife, Zoe Kazan.  While this was undoubtedly somewhat-comfortable since it’s based on his real life, it still doesn’t take-away how funny, charming, and ranging he is.  The film also excels due to its superb supporting cast!  Romano gets to be the funniest he’s been in years.  Kazan, Hunter, Burnham, and Bryant round-out the comedy as each of them gets their own moment (or two) to shine.  They deliver so many jokes, so edgy and hilarious, that I can’t wait to see it again to catch the ones I missed while I was laughing!  One scene in-particular has me crying with laughter!  “The Big Sick” beautifully showcases the differences of culture here in the United States and how challenging they can be on relationships.  It’s remarkable that they went-through so much early on, but I’m sure that has made their relationship all that stronger.  What I love most about the film, besides the hilarious jokes, is how non-formulaic it is.  The film allows itself to be unique and it’s one of the biggest successes, not only in comedy, but film as well in years!  With a perfect balance of humor and heartbreak, it’s the perfect date movie for this generation!  “The Big Sick” has a run time of 119 minutes and it never lags as it delivers laugh-after-laugh!  I cannot rave about “The Big Sick” enough, this is one movie that everybody needs to see!

“The Big Sick” conquers the challenges of cultural differences in relationships by-telling the true story of Kumail and Emily’s relationship.  The film features a ton of jokes, so very important values, and both heartbreaking and heartwarming tale of love.  If you are heading to the movies this weekend, “The Big Sick” should be your number one choice!!


THE BIG SICK is rated R for language including some sexual references, in theaters JULY 7TH!

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